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People More Likely to Exercise when Focused on Joy, not Negative Side Effects of Inactivity: Lancet

By Wild Women On Top
Posted: 26 Feb 2021
People are more likely to exercise when focussed on the joy of movement, rather than the negative side effects of inactivity, according to a new paper published in the Lancet this month.

While typical public health messages around exercise often use shame and fear as motivational tactics, researchers argue that positive messages promoting fun and friendship as well as fitness will yield more positive results.

To this end, social purpose enterprise, Wild Women On Top has partnered with Beyond Blue to create the Stayin’ Wild challenge, a walking program with the primary aim of bringing more joy to people’s lives.

“Stayin’ Wild is designed to inspire and motivate us all to get outside and walk 10,000 steps a day for the sheer joy of it,” says women’s health expert and Wild Women On Top Founder, Di Westaway OAM.

“Participants are encouraged to get outdoors and move their bodies daily, enjoying the mood-boosting powers of sunlight and physical activity, while having lots of fun.”

“This program isn’t about weight lost or muscle gained, calories burned or bottoms buffed. It’s about feeling the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, connecting with yourself and with nature. It’s a program designed to add a daily dose of joy into our day, in a time when we could all use a little more of it.”

While studies prove time and time again that exercise and the outdoors is essential for healthy bodies and minds, motivating people to move is a massive challenge. Most health promotion messaging focuses on exercising to combat obesity, diabetes and heart disease, because “the chair is killing us.” Meanwhile, many trainers focus on bikini bodies and awesome abs which, judging by the rise in chronic disease, isn’t working.

Stayin’ Wild Ambassador and journalist, Jennifer Byrne, says “what’s not to love about the Stayin’ Wild challenge? It’s a way to stay healthy (10,000 steps sounds a lot but, yes, you can) .... and happy (exercise being a great contributor to mental health) ... and giving is good for the heart.”

Since it’s first challenge in July 2020, Stayin’ Wildies have already raised over $70,000 for Beyond Blue.

Registration is now open for our March Stayin’ Wild Challenge which starts Monday 1 March.

What Stayin Wildies are saying:

‘I am so much fitter and stronger than I was end of July. My mental health has improved, I sleep better, have more energy and am living my best life. I have two children who help me reach my step target by running around the block with me or helping me with my stretches. I guess what I'm saying is- thank you!”

“I know without a doubt that I am healthier and happier for getting into my walking gear every single day!”

WILD WOMEN ON TOP is a health and fitness social enterprise created to help women soar beyond their wildest dreams.

To date the Stayin’ Wild Challenge has seen participants walk more than 77 million steps.

ABOUT BEYOND BLUE

  • Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
  • Three million Australians are currently experiencing anxiety and/or depression, and eight people will sadly take their own lives every day.
  • Walking is linked to improvements in mental and physical health. For more information, visit Beyond Blue

See new paper published in the Lancet this month.

 
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