Member Of The Month – Sarah Walsh

You have been a member with Health Mates for 13 years, what is your reflection of this time?

I would say the motivation and the emotion of feeling good. I have never not enjoyed coming to the gym and haven’t seen it as a chore. I enjoy working out and even look forward to it.

Thinking back 13 years ago, what inspired you to join Health Mates?

I’ve always played sport and had a gym membership since I was 19, only stopping to have my 3 children. After having my 2nd child I joined Health Mates because it was local. It held great group classes and it had a childcare service. I saw this as an avenue to get back to my sport/exercise roots. I also have a family history of diabetes and know that cloud is sitting there. I knew I had to get back to moving more. Joining a gym can be daunting. It was important that I found a gym that I felt comfortable in and not judged in anyway. Being surrounded by friendly, motivating and helpful people at the gym allows you to get the most out of your gym experience.

COVID 19 and Health Mates having to close for a period didn’t stop you from moving, what was your motivation over this period?

I wasn’t working and the whole family was home, which was probably similar for a lot of people. It was only house work which wasn’t exciting and I was missing the social aspect of the gym. The Health Mates APP made it easy with the at home programs and guided classes. I was able to track my workouts and it became quite competitive with the leader board as I wanted to say at the top. I made it my daily routine as I felt is it was important to have some routine in my life with everything else being out of routine.

You were one of the highest movers with clocking 90,810 moves over the closure period. What were you doing and what are you doing now?

During the closed period I did some of the Health Mates home programs and guided classes. I also did some virtual classes and signed up for a push up challenge, raising money for Head Space. Being back at the gym is great; I aim to exercise every day for at least 30mins a day. I try to do 2-4 group exercise classes a week. On days that I don’t attend the gym I use the Health Mates App and do a Do It Yourself Program as well as Zumba classes online.

How did you go in the Push up Challenge?

I did 3,046 push ups over 21 days. It was hard, but I just put it in as part of my workouts. When I completed it I certainly felt a sense of achievement that I was able to do that.

Well done on the Push Up Challenge – that is a great achievement! What is your favourite workout Larah, the workout that you don’t have to convince yourself to do?

Rev, Boxing and Zumba. I see them as exercise in disguise as I am just having fun.

What have you achieved and how has it changed your life so far?

As mentioned, I recently did the Push Up Challenge. It was quite a challenge, but a rewarding experience and I was stoked with my achievement. I have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes as well as having had gestational Diabetes with two of my pregnancies. This puts me in a high risk category to develop the disease. Regular aerobic exercise has helped to maintain and improve my weight, strength and more importantly my overall health. Exercise has also helped with my mind; keeping me feeling good about myself and happy.

Many may have hit a plateau with their training or fell into a slump over winter – what advise can you offer to kick start them again?

Set realistic, achievable goals and start small. When starting out it’s good to exercise with a friend as it’s more fun and you can motivate one another. Try different varieties of exercise and find what you like best and what suits you. Exercise can be fun and when it’s fun it is not a chore. It becomes easy to include it in your regular routine of your life. Find your exercise in disguise and have fun with it!