There are 2 quick ways to determine if you are within recommended weight ranges. You can calculate your BMI.... You can conduct a simple waist measurement.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a way of comparing your height to weight, and can provide a ballpark figure without the hassles of skinfold calipers, underwater weighing or any other electrical devise. This calculation does not take into account your percentage of body fat or lean muscle tissue so it is only an estimation of your healthy weight. To calculate your ideal weight range.
Body Mass Index = weight (95kg) divided by your height squared (1.80 x 1.80 = 3.82)
For example - 95kg divided by 3.82 = 24.87 BMI

But Body Mass Index (BMI), a way of comparing your height to weight, can provide a ballpark figure without all the hassle. A BMI of 18.5 to 25.0 is considered within normal ranges. However, the BMI doesn't necessarily work with all body types; athletes with lots of muscles could be perfectly healthy but not measure out well using this tool.

The BMI calculation will not be accurate for:

  • People below the age of 19 and over the age of 70
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Competitive athletes
  • Body Builders
  • People who are chronically ill

Generally, the higher your BMI, the higher your health risk, and the risk increases even further if your waist size is greater than 100 centimetres for men or 87.5 centimetres for women. Use the calculator to determine your BMI. Then measure your waist size. Now, with your BMI and waist size determined, use the table below to determine your health risk relative to normal weight.


Disease According to BMI and Waist Size


Body Mass Index (BMI)





24 - 27

23 - 26

Moderately obese

28 - 31

27 - 32

Severely obese

> 31

> 32


Check your Waist Circumference to see if you are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes.




  • Over 94 cm poses an increased risk
  • Over 102 com poses a high risk
  • Over 80 cm poses an increased risk
  • Over 88 cm poses a high risk


Body mass index may also be accurately calculated using any of the formulas below.

BMI can also be determined using a BMI chart, which displays BMI as a function of weight (horizontal axis) and height (vertical axis) using contour lines for different values of BMI or colors for different BMI categories.

{tab title = "AM I EATING RIGHT?" class="green"}

Nutritious foods and an active lifestyle can help achieve good health throughout life. The Dietary Guidelines for Australians below are your best guide to food, nutrition and health.

  • Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits
  • Eat plenty of cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles), preferably wholegrain
  • Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives
  • Include milks, yoghurts, cheeses and/or alternatives.
  • Reduced-fat varieties should be chosen, where possible
  • Drink plenty of water

and take care to:
  • Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat intake
  • Choose foods low in salt
  • Limit your alcohol intake if you choose to drink
  • Consume only moderate amounts of sugars and foods containing added sugars



The minimum recommended for good health is 30 minutes of 'moderate' activity, five (or preferably, seven) days a week, according to Australia's National Physical Activity Guidelines. Moderate intensity is defined as a level that causes a 'slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate'.

The good news about regular physical activity is that everyone can benefit from it. Additionally, physical activity does not need to be hard or challenging. Participating in moderate-intensity physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for people of all ages and wide range of abilities.

Current physical activity recommendations for adults include both cardio or aerobic activities and resistance, strength-building, and weight-bearing activities.

Recommendations for Adults
Cardio or aerobic activities. Achieve the aerobic activity recommendation through one of the following options:
  • A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day (such as brisk walking) most days of the week
  • A minimum of 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (such as jogging or running) 3 days a week

Resistance, strength-building, and weight-bearing activities. Two days a week, incorporate strength training into your routine. Strength training activities, such as weight lifting, maintain and increase muscle strength and endurance. A goal to reach towards is completing 6-8 strength training exercises, with 8-12 repetitions per exercise.

What types of aerobic activities are considered moderate-intensity?

During moderate-intensity activities you should notice an increase in your heart rate, but you should still be able to talk comfortably. If you are breathing hard and fast and your heart rate is increased substantially, you are probably doing vigorous-intensity activity. Many activities (such as bicycling or swimming) can be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity depending on your level of effort. More examples of moderate-intensity activity are provided below.


Indoors or Outdoors
  • Dancing, general (Greek, Hula, Flamenco, Middle Eastern and Swing)
  • Riding a stationary bike
  • Actively playing with children
  • Taking group exercise class
  • Cleaning the house
  • Mowing lawn, general
  • Playing golf, walking the course
  • Social tennis game
  • Downhill skiing with light effort
  • Raking leaves
  • Hand washing / waxing a car
  • surfing
  • Playing basketball, football AFL / Soccer
  • Walking, brisk pace
  • Doing water aerobics
  • Jogging/walking combination (In a 30-minute period, you should be jogging for less than 10 minutes.)


There are different ways to become active or exercise

You can reach your goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week in more than one way: you can do one type of activity for at least 30 minutes, or you can break down your minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity into smaller, 10- to 15-minute segments. Eg. On an exercise bike .

Think of it as the 3-2-1 plan!

3 - Complete three activities for 10 consecutive minutes at a moderately intense rate eg. Gentle cycle / sprint / holding your breathe sprint - one minute intervals.


2 - Complete two activities for 15 consecutive minutes at a moderately intense rate eg. Running on a treadmill for 15 minutes, rapid set weight workout for 15 minutes.


1 - Complete one activity for 30 consecutive minutes at a moderately intense rate eg. Jogging or swimming laps or dancing.

Follow the 3-2-1 and stick with it!

Cardio or lifting weights - what is best?

Most people can get greater health benefits by increasing the intensity or the amount of time that they are physically active. Incorporating up to 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity may also help you manage your weight or help you prevent weight gain, whatever your goal may be.

Examples of vigorous-intensity activities include:

  • Racewalking, jogging or running
  • Swimming laps
  • Mowing lawn, hand mower
  • Tennis, singles
  • Bicycling more than 15 kph, or on steep uphill terrain
  • Circuit training - a combination of strength, endurance and aerobic exercises

Waiver / Warning

Experts advise that people with chronic diseases, such as a heart condition, arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure, should consult your doctor about what types and amounts of physical activity are appropriate for you.


Pregnancy is a physical condition which can be enhanced by an appropriate / activity / exercise regime. I would encourage all expectant mothers to have an activity program - sanctioned by their doctor. The benefits for mum and baby is well documented.



Fitness today has taken on many forms within our society. For the pregnant woman wanting to participate in exercise, there is an extraordinary amount of precautions that she needs to take both for herself and for the baby she is carrying. Being pregnant, and knowing the correct way to exercise while pregnant are areas many still do not know a great deal about. A pregnant woman has to take more care while exercising due to the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy. Changes occur during pregnancy for different women at different times.

The pelvic joint area is a solid joint area that does not move but in pregnancy the joint is softened by a hormone, consequently there is potential for movement. Relaxin is a hormone that gets ready for childbirth. The hormone relaxin causes the joints around the pelvis to relax and there is more pressure put on the pelvis as a result the pelvis is more susceptible to pelvic joint pain and back injuries. Pregnant women are prone to injury because there is movement in the pelvic joint area.

Current guidelines for exercise during pregnancy include the following:
  • A woman's core temperature should not rise more than 1 C above normal. In order to keep one's temperature within this range the intensity of exercise should be reduced, hydrating the body by drinking water and staying away from exercising if you are unwell or on hot and humid days.
  • A woman's vigorous exercise component should not exceed 15 minutes unless one is individually advised to.
  • To accommodate for changes in your cardiovascular system allow for more warm up and cool down. It is wise not to stop exercising suddenly or to stand in one position too long.
  • Otherwise blood pooling can occur in the legs, low blood pressure and fainting.
  • To limit the potential for injury to ligaments and muscles affected by hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, it is important to participate in low impact exercise.
  • Asymmetrical weight bearing exercises i.e. step and high impact choreography can stress the pelvic joint.
  • Sports, which involve contact, collision or a high level of competition, should probably be avoided during pregnancy, unless advised by a specialist.
  • As the pregnancy progresses it is wise to undertake specific pregnancy exercises that can help you prepare for childbirth. This could either be pelvic joint exercises to relieve the pain associated with the joint or exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.


Heart Rate and Pregnancy
  • The maximum heart rate during exercise is 140 bpm for not more than 15 minutes.
  • (Source: American College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists)
  • Heart rate should be reduced by approximately 20-25 % to take into account pregnancy changes. (Source: VicFit notes)
  • Talk test, which is the ability to talk during exercise, indicates woman is working within her aerobic threshold.
  • Perceived rate of exertion should not be higher than before pregnancy and should not exceed a perceived level of "somewhat hard". This is an inaccurate measure in isolation and is usually an underestimate of exercise intensity during pregnancy.


Training Zones

Aerobic training benefits can be maintained or achieved using 60-70 % target heart rate estimates.






25 years

195 bpm

117 bpm

136 bpm

146 bpm

30 years

190 bpm

114 bpm

133 bpm

142 bpm

35 years

185 bpm

111 bpm

130 bpm

139 bpm

40 years

180 bpm

108 bpm

126 bpm

135 bpm


Alternatively, if you reduce your workload by 20-25 % during pregnancy heart rates will be:

Pre-preg Training HR

20 % Reduced

25 % Reduced

180 bpm

144 bpm

135 bpm

170 bpm

136 bpm

127 bpm

160 bpm

128 bpm

120 bpm

150 bpm

120 bpm

112 bpm


Some research has shown heart rates of 180 bpm have associated foetal bradycardia. (This is a slow heart rate in a foetus or newborn baby. It is usually a heart rate of less than 120 bpm.), which suggests exercising at a lower intensity with longer cool downs are better tolerated by a developing baby.

The concerns elevated heart rates over extended periods relate mainly to risk of over heating, reduced blood sugars to the uterus as well as foetal growth and well being.

I should be noted that lower target heart rates can be sustained longer without the associated rise in core temperature. To reduce the risk that is associated with exercise intensity a pregnant woman should;

  • Eat high carbohydrate snacks before exercising.
  • Maintain adequate hydration before, during and after exercise.
  • Have some fruit handy during exercise.
  • Extend the warm up and cool down periods.
  • Participate in exercise in well ventilated areas.
  • Try to wear light and loose clothing.
  • Accept and recognize signs of discomfort and fatigue and stop exercising.

Suitable Types of Exercises During Pregnancy:

There are several types of exercises a pregnant woman can participate in.

  • Low impact aerobics with minimal choreography.
  • Light weights that emphasise low resistance endurance rather than strength training. It is important to watch your posture and light pinned loaded machines are better than free weights.
  • Step classes should be limited especially with ones that have a lot of choreography and propulsions. Even reduce the step height and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Swimming, walking and stationary cycling are recommended during pregnancy because they use the whole body as well as being aerobic exercise.
  • Exercises in water reduce the effects associated with weight bearing exercises including over heating and joint stress.
  • All exercises during pregnancy should be non-competitive and a woman must be able to work within her comfort zone.
  • Abdominal exercises are best done in postural bracing with floor work on hand and knees and side lying being preferable and more effective than lying on your back.
  • Pelvic floor exercises with help relieve discomfort of vulval heaviness late in pregnancy and prevent stress incontinence.

Today there are several different types of specialized exercise programs starting up around the country. They offer both land and water based classes. Between specialized physiotherapist and fitness leaders who specialize in pregnancy and exercise, there are people who have the knowledge to guide pregnant women in the right direction. Many gymnasiums and private personal training studios offer certain types of pregnancy classes with emphasis being on both pre and post natal exercises.


Changing Shape Training Manual

Kathryn Bramwell & Margaret Sherburn. (1995) Changing Shape: Exercising for fitness and well being during and after pregnancy. Published by Viking Australia.

Sheila Kitzinger (1993) Pregnancy & Childbirth. Published by Doubleday Australia.


The simple answer is every day when you have a 30 minute time slot which you can dedicate to yourself (yourself and small children included). Research in the last ten years indicated a person who is active have a longer life expectancy.

Need motivation to exercise? Here are seven ways exercise can improve your life - starting today!

Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than old-fashioned exercise.

The merits of exercise - from preventing chronic health conditions to boosting confidence and self-esteem - are hard to ignore. And the benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing? Check out seven specific ways exercise can improve your life.


1. Exercise improves your mood.

Need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help you calm down.

Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals, which may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You'll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Exercise even reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.

2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent osteoporosis? Regular exercise might be the ticket.

Regular exercise can help you prevent - or manage - high blood pressure. Your cholesterol will benefit, too. Regular exercise boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol while decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the build up of plaques in your arteries.

And there's more. Regular exercise can help you prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.

Want to drop those excess pounds? Trade some couch time for walking or other physical activities.

This one's a no-brainer. When you exercise, you burn calories. The more intensely you exercise, the more calories you burn - and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. You don't even need to set aside major chunks of time for working out. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials. Better yet, turn off the TV and take a brisk walk. Dedicated workouts are great, but activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too.

4. Exercise strengthens your heart and lungs.

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Don't throw in the towel. Regular exercise can leave you breathing easier.

Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. In fact, regular exercise helps your entire cardiovascular system - the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels - work more efficiently. Big deal? You bet! When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you'll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

Struggling to fall asleep? Or stay asleep? It might help to boost your physical activity during the day.

A good night's sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And, you guessed it exercise is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. The timing is up to you - but if you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to try late afternoon workouts. The natural dip in body temperature five to six hours after you exercise might help you fall asleep.

6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.

Are you too tired to have sex? Or feeling too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Exercise to the rescue.

Regular exercise can leave you feeling energised and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there's more to it than that. Exercise improves your circulation, which can lead to more satisfying sex.

And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise, especially as they get older.

7. Exercise can be - gasp - fun!

Wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Looking for an activity that suits the entire family? Get physical!

Exercise doesn't have to be drudgery. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighbourhood kickball or football game.

Find an activity you enjoy, and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you're moving, it counts!

Are you convinced? Good. Start reaping the benefits of physical activity today!


Remember - every little bit helps!!! The Heart Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity exercise on all or most days of the week. This level of exercise involves some effort e.g. brisk walking, cycling, swimming, mowing the lawn so that your pulse rate quickens.

The 30 minutes need not be continuous. You can combine short sessions of different activities of 10 -15 minutes each. Think about parking the car a little further away and get out and walk the last part of your trip to work, or get off the bus one or two stops earlier.

Regular, more vigorous, exercise promotes extra fitness and weight loss. Vigorous exercise increases your pulse rate and makes you ‘huff and puff'. For best results, exercise vigorously three or four times a week for 30 minutes or more each time.

Try to think of exercise as a chance to improve your health and wellbeing and not just a waste of valuable time or an inconvenience. Plan your exercise and maybe exercise with a friend - and make it fun.

To find an Exercise Programs click here.


The only way to lose weight and keep the weight off is to have a regimented diet / nutrition program and a balanced activity program.  Diets don't work!  Your body is designed to store excess sugars and nutrients.  Therefore to lose weight you have to burn more sugars and nutrients than your intake.  As such you will start to burn fat.  This is not a quick process.  My tips to lose weight and keep it off are:

  • Know what you are eating - read food labels - carefully
  • Have clear motivations and patience
  • Keep a daily diary
  • Set realistic weight loss goals
  • Work out how to achieve your goals
  • Stay committed - no snacking
  • Manage your cravings - practise saying ‘NO'
  • Eat small regular meals - watch portion sizes
  • Allow small rewards
  • Balanced meals
  • Set regular eating times and environments
  • Be active everyday
  • Take 10,000steps per day
  • Spice up your cooking skills
  • Drink plenty
  • Believe in Yourself

To Lose Weight in 08 Program click here.


Research in the last ten years clearly indicates that pregnant women should exercise.  The forms of exercise are basically to fold, the first is to initially control or manage excessive weight gain (all those cravings).  The best form of this exercise is a walking program.  The second proponent of exercise is preparation for birth.  My recommendation to all pregnant women is to consult their health professional to discuss and agree on the exercise programs that are applicable to them.

Assuming you have discussed your exercise program with your health professional you may utilise the beginning walking program contained in the Activity Programs section.

Following birth your body needs a program to return it to normal but you must remember that your body has undergone nine months of change and getting back into shape should be planned over the next 9-10 months and certainly in association with your health professionals recommendation.

Pregnancy Articles


A person's body shape is determined by their genetics (mother & fathers body shape) and the amount of activity or eating they conduct.

It took us a long time to realise the importance of body assessment. What we conveniently forget is that all our bodies will change over the years due to:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Change of lifestyle
  • Career changes
  • Children etc.

As these changes appear gradually we often tend not to notice it as much and consequently we go to buy or select the wrong size in clothes.

Having a particular body shape does not mean that size or fashion does become a problem. Determining and accepting what body shape you are should give you the courage to make sensible fashion decision incorporating both style and comfort.

Reflecting over the past 3 decades my body has changed. I can sympathise with you and know how sometimes fashions of the day or styles of the month often create an acceptance difficulty and or confidence problems in selections of clothes. However, I think knowing your body shape is the first step to a new you. 


 Hour Glass
  Big breasts
Small waist
Short waist
Big hips
Generous thighS
  Small breasts
Long waist
Flat tummy
Heavy legs
  Average breasts
Tummy bigger than breasts
Quite flat bum
Ok legs
    Big breasts
Slight waist
Slim hips
Long legs
    Broad shoulders
No waist
Average tummy
Flat bum
Chunky thighs
Chunky calves
    Shoulders same as hip width
Slight waist
Longer legs