Leon Stensholm knows a thing or two about how to keep fit, but he says there is a simple rule that everyone can follow to instantly boost their health, even if they are ‘allergic’ to the gym.
“Put the phone and tablet down and walk out your front door,” he says.
Mr Stensholm, who owns Body by Leon, is a world-champion natural body builder, nutritionist and author. He says health and fitness has become overcomplicated for many, but the reality is the tried and tested concepts of moving your body and eating fruits and vegetables remain true today.
“Parents are busy these days, there’s no doubt, but everyone needs to get moving,” he says. “The thing is, whether you are heading down to the park, swimming or walking along the beach, taking a picnic on a bushwalk, they are all exercise and they also connect and bring families closer together.
“Kids are naturally full of energy and I often see that it’s tired parents who put the brakes on. I’d like to see more parents leading from the front.”
Mr Stensholm says his coaching largely revolves around getting people outdoors and moving. “It’s amazing that you will have weight loss and lose body fat while exercising, but more importantly it gets you into the fresh air, it clears your head and helps you to become a better person mentally,” he says.
Here are Mr Stensholm’s top fitness tips:
- Start simply, by getting out the door. Ride your bikes or walk instead of taking the car.
- Take a leaf out of your children’s books and re-learn how to have fun chasing, dancing and doing other activities that are exercise in disguise.
- No matter the time of day, get some physical activity in when you can. Mornings are good because you don’t come up with excuses during the day as to why you can’t exercise. If you can get your exercise done early, you will be on fire for the rest of your day.
- You don’t have to go cold turkey on cutting out unhealthy foods. Start by simply minimising dead calories, like sugary drinks and excess butter. This will naturally create a calorie deficit.
- Keep things simple. Do what people have been speaking about for 55 years – eat clean whole foods with lots of fruit, vegetables and meat (if you’re not a vegetarian) and exercise daily. It seems basic, but it’s the most effective system.
Hit the beach
Up for a surf? Try Kings or Moffats.
Taking your pooch for a walk? Head to Point Cartwright Reserve.
Dreaming of white sand, blue waves and peace and quiet? Shelly Beach and Third Bay are our go-to spots.
Mooloolaba Spit, Golden Beach, Cotton Tree and Currimundi Lake (pictured) are perfect for families.
Fresh and light
Summer is definitely the season for the most delicious of fruits and vegetables. There is no better place to get them from than locally-owned stores that stock local product, and the produce markets scattered across the region.
This season, you can enjoy the freshest apples, avocados, cherries, grapes, guava, honeydew, kiwi fruit, lemons, limes, lychees, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, passionfruit, paw paw, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, rockmelon
For those partial to some veggie action, you can tuck into seasonal asparagus, beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chillies, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, garlic, ginger, kale, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, pumpkin, potato, radish, snow peas, spinach, sprouts, squash, tomato, swede, zucchini.
To get the freshest produce straight from the growers, head to:
- Eumundi Markets every Wednesday, 8am to 1.30pm, and Saturday, 7am to 2pm at Memorial Drive, Eumundi
- Kawana Waters Artisan and Farmers Market every Saturday, 7am to 12pm at the Kawana State Primary School
- Hinterland Harvest Market every Saturday, 6am to 11am at the Suncoast Church car park
- Fisherman’s Road Markets every Sunday, 6am to 12pm on the corner of Fisherman’s Road and David Low Way
- Caloundra Street Fair every Sunday, 8am to 1pm at Bulcock Street, Caloundra.
5 idyllic waterholes to splash into this summer
Drive along the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to Gardners Falls at Maleny nestled along Obi Obi Creek. It is just a short walk along the creek bed, where you might be lucky enough to spot a platypus on quieter days. You can choose from a number of shallower swimming holes along the walk, or continue to the end of the track to jump into the swimming hole at the bottom of the falls. The surrounds provide plenty of spots for picnics and there is even a rope swing for the more adventurous.
Only a short walk through the Buderim Forest Park leads you to the stunning Serenity Falls. The water is always cool, there is plenty of shade and you can take a picnic and set up for the day, taking in the incredible natural surroundings. If you don’t want to get wet, there are plenty of places to perch, including a nearby bridge, where you’ll have an beautiful view of the falls and the swimming hole.
If you have a four-wheel drive, Booloumba Falls is a favourite swimming destination that feels like you are in a whole new world. The roads into the walking path are not all sealed and you will have and adventure just getting there. But once the car is parked, the falls are well signposted and you can reach them on a comfortable 1.5 kilometre walk. Enjoy a waterfall shower and cool swim in the lush forest surrounds.
Artists Cascades is nestled in the Conondale National Park just outside Kenilworth. Visiting this swimming hole is more of a day trip, with an 11-kilometre walk to get to the falls. This keeps crowds to a minimum, which makes for a peaceful day out. The track itself is full of hidden gems, with the entrance to an old gold mine dating back to the 1920s in the hillside and also the controversial Andy Goldsworthy artwork, the Strangler Cairn.
A little further afield, in the scenic Blackall Range, you will find Kondalilla National Park. Here, you will find a walking track to the falls the park is named after, where Skene Creek drops 90 metres into the rainforest valley below. From the car park, walk 100-metres downhill with steps to a large grassed picnic area with barbecues, picnic tables and toilets. The Picnic Creek circuit will lead you to a cool rock pool at the top of the falls and the Kondalilla Falls circuit will take you to the main attraction.