Monday, 6 October 2014


Do you think we put to much pressure on ourselves.
Do you take time out for yourself?

In today's society we can very easily get caught up in the day to day grind of everything. In doing so we forget to take a deep breathe and just enjoy life. Humans tend to be quite time poor working longer hours plus traveling further to get to their jobs. Because of these and other factors we forget to take some time out for ourselves, it's either work, family, money ... The list goes on and this can lead to serious amounts of stress. Stress is such a powerful emotion which can be very detrimental to our health and can cause such health conditions like anxiety.
We all need some time to ourselves from time to time. We spend so much time trying to set up a good life for ourselves, we forget to enjoy it.
How do you like to enjoy yourself?

Below are a list of top 5 things I like to do which makes me enjoy life.
1. Playing or watching football - love my footy!
2. Spend a weekend away with my young family - it's good to get away from the hussle and bustle sometimes
3. Listen to Coldplay - I find I just tune out when listening to them
4. Sit down and enjoy watching a DVD with my wife - with a little one we don't get much time to ourselves but this is something we try and do a couple of times a month
5. Catching up with friends - always great to see friends

Hopefully it’s given you a few ideas but if not, when you are feeling overwhelmed and under pressure – take a deep breathe to help you relax – I guarantee when you start to relax – your mind will relax and you’ll be more productive at whatever you are doing.

Tristan Simmons
Healthy Living Director at Mill Park Leisure

Friday, 5 September 2014

YMCA Whittlesea Mental Health Awareness Seminar

According to BeyondBlue, 3 million Australians are currently living with Depression or Anxiety, yet some many of us don’t know much about mental health conditions or the warning signs.

On Monday 6th October YMCA Whittlesea is holding a Mental Health Awareness Seminar at Mill Park Baptist Church. It’s a FREE community event aimed at raising awareness in the community, donations would be greatly appreciated and all proceeds will go to the Black Dog Institute and YMCA Whittlesea Open Doors.

The seminar begins at 6:30pm and will conclude about 8:30pm, with two guest speakers on the night. Firstly we have Sheana from the Black Dog Institute who will talk about breaking down depression and building resilience. Following Sheana will be Dr Denise Furness who will talk about Nutrition and Exercise and how it can help reduce the symptoms of mental health conditions. At the conclusion of the guest speakers, Dr Furness will be joined on stage with Dr Amanda Lucci BMed ,MBBS to answer any questions attendees may have.
This seminar suitable for anyone who may be experiencing a mental health condition, know someone or just want more information on the subject.

Places are limited so get in early to book your spot – to book your place please email Tristan Simmons at

We look forward to seeing you at this great community event.

Monday, 4 August 2014

6 simple steps to follow, which will help you exercise regularly

Before we get into some of the steps, firstly let start by asking you all a question – How many of you have joined a gym or started some sort of exercise but failed to maintain it?

I’m betting a vast majority of you have or would at least know someone who has. There are always different reasons why people start something but don’t continue with it so here are a few simple steps to help keep you on track.

1. Schedule your workouts for the week
If you put them in your diary like any other appointment – it will help you stick to it instead of making an excuse not to do it.

2. Set realistic goals
Sometimes we set a goal that is way out of our reach and it demotivates us so we just give up. The key is to set a long term goal but also some smaller goals along the way that will keep you striving for long term one.

3. Find a training buddy
Having a training partner helps to keep you both motivated because when one wants to slack off – the other will motivate you to get to the gym

4. Get a program written by a qualified instructor
Gym staff are to write you a program which will help you achieve your goals while maintaining a safe exercise regime – if you just come in and do your own thing, you’ll end up getting bored, lose interest and eventually stop

5. Use Technology
We live in a very tech savvy society so why not embrace it – there are some great apps out there that help you set goals and monitor your progress.

6. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask qualified gym staff questions – they are there to help you and make you feel comfortable at the gym.

So there are few simple – cost effective ways to help you not only start your fitness journey but help maintain it. Please remember one thing – fitness is a lifelong commitment so work hard to get the most out of it but find something you’ll enjoy! 

Tristan Simmons
Healthy Living Director at Mill Park Leisure

Friday, 20 June 2014

What defines us?

As humans we go through all different types of emotions every single day. Some good and some bad. Now we all wish we only had good emotions but that’s not what defines us. We all go through tough times, it’s how we deal with those situations that makes us who we are.

I listened to a key note speaker recently by the name of Dr David Patchell-Evans or 'Patch' as he prefers to be called. Patch is the founder of Goodlife Fitness Centre in Canada. He started out with only 1 health club and has expanded to over 300 clubs around Canada. Patch himself has been through many crisis’s in his life but he choose to learn from those incidents and turn them into an opportunity, or CROP as he calls it. Turning a crisis into an opportunity.

Just take a minute and reflect on that.....when have you turned a crisis into an opportunity?
Do you think it has made you who you are today? 

I want to share an example with you. When I was young my parents had just recently moved to Wallan where they had built a house for their young family because they were renting a flat in Preston which was too small. In order to support his family, my Dad worked 3 jobs, 7 days a week. He would be up at 5am and head to his first job. After he finished working overtime, he would head to his second job and work till about 8-9pm at night and by the time he got home it would after 10pm, when I was in bed. He did this every Monday - Friday. On the weekends he would work his 3rd job. My dad did this for many years to support us but as a result I didn't get to spend as much time with him. It doesn’t make him a bad father, he was just doing everything he can to support us and give us the best opportunities. 

Now you might ask why is this a crisis? Well as a young child, I didn’t get to see my Dad and spend that quality time with him.  Now I'm a father with a beautiful little girl I turned my crisis into an opportunity. That opportunity was to work hard and support my family but to always make sure I have a great work/family life balance. I try to spend as much time as I possibly can with my daughter and if I go one single day without getting a hug or kiss from her (now she knows what shaking your head means so I do get rejected from time to time - except when she is going to bed, I always get my goodnight kiss), it disappoints me. 

There are always going to be tough times throughout our lives, unfortunately its apart of life, it’s how we overcome those tough times or 'crisis' that truly makes us who we are today. A crisis doesn't have to be a big issue either because sometimes the smaller things hurt the most. 

PLEASE remember, it’s never too late to become the person we want to be! 

Tristan Simmons
Healthy Living Director at Mill Park Leisure

Les Mills Launches - June / July

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Mental Illness – Lets raise awareness!

You would have seen in the media recently that Mitch Clark, an AFL footballer who played with the Brisbane Lions and Melbourne football club has retired from the game with clinical depression. Now everyone retires from the game at some stage in their lives but to give the game away at only 26 because of this illness is quite saddening. He had many great years ahead of him.

What I want to do by writing this article is raise awareness because 1 in 3 people will experience sort some of mental illness throughout their lives.  Sometimes we don’t realise how much of an impact this terrible illness can have on an individual yet 1 in 4 people still think anyone suffering depression and anxiety just need to snap out of it. If only it was that simple. Everyone during their lives will experience anxiety and be depressed in their everyday lives, it’s part of our emotions but it is usually for only a short period of time and we quickly regulate our emotions again to continue on with our day. For someone experiencing depression or anxiety, it can last for hours; even days and they are unable to regulate their emotions.

I think we as a community need to help raise awareness and even be more accepting of the issue because some people are so fearful of communicating their illness with others; they avoid getting help and are unable to enjoy their life. I encourage anyone who is suffering from mental illness to seek professional help and if you haven’t done so already, introduce some form of exercise into your regime, even if it is at home. Exercise is a great medicine, it helps release endorphins which is a chemical the body produces which makes us feel good about ourselves. There are many online forums which you can join to discuss your issues with people just like you.

Further information can be obtained from BeyondBlue

Once again, let’s as a community raise awareness about this terrible illness because it is something that is close to my heart and I believe everyone deserves to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What is Preva?

Preva is State-of-the-art software designed to personalize the fitness experience
Thousands of exercisers worldwide use Preva® to achieve their fitness goals. Preva allows you to track your fitness progress at the gym with on-console software or on-the-go with the Preva Mobile app.

Create a Preva account and take a big step toward your fitness ambitions in and out of the gym. Set a goal, earn rewards and track your progress automatically on Precor cardio equipment or with the Preva app.

Making it yours... works!™

Earn Badges to Keep You Motivated to Meet Your Weekly Goals

Stay motivated by earning badges as you achieve key milestones and reach your fitness goals.

Using the Preva Mobile app, you can share these badges on your favorite social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Join the hundreds of thousands of exercisers who have already unlocked Preva badges.

Achieve Your Goals with Preva Equipment Worldwide, and on Your Mobile Device

With 1,300 Preva-enabled fitness facilities and over 22,000 networked units across 56 countries, you can count on Preva to be wherever your fitness journey takes you. Don't forget to track your workouts and progress outside of the gym with the Preva Mobile app, whether you're racking up miles on a hike or burning calories doing yard work.