Australian Lifestyle Habits

 

Evening Standard

Insider's new wellness columnist, model and nutritionist Sarah Ann Macklin, on what we can learn from the Australians.

 

I've just returned from two sunny weeks in Southern Australia, hitting up Sydney, Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Kangaroo Island and Melbourne.

As a nutritionist and model, I normally feel ahead of the game when it comes to wellness, but the Australians seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of the UK, adopting an LA-style culture of healthy food, drink and exercise.

Here are five simple ways I think the Aussies do it better. 

There are farmer's markets (everywhere)

I loved how many farmers markets I saw in Australia. Even in the smallest towns such as Willunga (where I stopped at en route to the magnificent wine district McLaren Vale), I'd pass markets selling organic fruit and vegetables that had been grown within 20 minutes of the seller’s home, a large variety of homemade dips (half which were completely new to me), organic wine, fresh vegetable juices, locally sourced meat, and even homemade crackers.

There were also plenty of prebiotic foods on sale, like sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi. People were turning up with mini trollies to bulk buy all their fresh produce for the week ahead. 

A lot of healthy eating comes down to preparation. I loved seeing people buy seasonal vegetables and loading up on sauerkraut from their neighbours, instead of popping to the corner shop to buy fruit and veg that had been flown halfway across the world. 

 
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Exercise is a daily habit 

Exercise and movement is a big part of Australian daily life, whether it's long runs, sessions in the gym, swimming, surfing, rowing (there was a lot of this on the Yarra River in Melbourne), or simply walking to work. There wasn't a day I spent in Australia when I didn’t pass at least five different types of sporting teams - from run clubs to park yoga sessions.

Working out every day in Australia helped set me up for the day ahead, but it was also a good way to feel more at home. The gyms I visited were built around socializing; friends gather there before and after work, instead of meeting at the pub.

Cities which embrace exercise encourage people to participate - Australia definitely spurred me on to improve my own fitness routine. 

 

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Claire Thorburn