Base Body Babes #fitspiration turns to #couchspiration Interview
Despite being hooked on images of active living, brightly coloured sports gear and organic smoothies, the latest Aussie health and fitness trend indicates there's one key thing missing, with a significant proportion struggling to fit in exercise and healthy eating to their busy lives. This has resulted in a worrying new trend coined #couchspiration.
The research, conducted by Medibank, shows over half of Australians regularly view health and fitness posts on social media, with 1 in 5 relying on #fitspiration images every day and just under half saying they are inspired to be more healthy by this digital diet. However, over three quarters (77%) aren't regularly exercising enough to break into a sweat. Medibank is working with Base Body Babes to put a stop to #couchspiration by encouraging Aussies to take the first step to better health.
Fitness experts Base Body Babes, also known as Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson, are part of the online movement trying to get Aussies healthier both via exercise and eating well. Commenting, Base Body Babes say: 'We know it can be hard to get off the couch in the winter months and start exercising but we are here to help Australians get motivated. Through our Instagram and blog we've found social media is an awesome way to inspire as many people as possible to lead a healthier life but we encourage everyone to commit to actually taking action rather than just scrolling through the pictures!
'The research shows nearly 90% of Australians believe being healthy is more than just food and exercise – it is also about achieving day-to-day happiness. As mentioned, we are encouraging everyone to not only enjoy health and fitness posts, but to be determined to take action afterwards!"
The research also shows that despite 90% of the people wanting to lead healthier lives, around 68% never even make it to the gym. The main barriers to working out are motivation (68%), time (53%) and cost (27%); overall, nearly a third of the nation believe it is simply too hard to have a healthy lifestyle.
Commenting, Dr. Ian Boyd, Medibank's Medical Advisor, says: 'I lead a busy life myself and know that a lack of time and motivation can get in the way of leading the healthy life you want to have. But don't think about it as a major life change, even making small steps like walking from the train station after work can start to turn #couchspiration to real motivation and drastically improve your wellbeing and happiness.
'To try to overcome these barriers, Medibank developed the GymBetter program; a way for anyone to fit a gym session into their lives instantly…anywhere or anytime; it's the only program of its kind in Australia. GymBetter allows Medibank members to use over 600 gyms around the country for just $8.50 (non-members $11.95) per visit with no contracts so it can fit in with your lifestyle and budget."
The research also shows the diets of Aussies have a lot of room to improve – even though we are obsessed by Instagrams of the latest superfood, colourful smoothies and morning muesli bowls, the research indicates unhealthy food choices are the norm for over 40% who eat healthy meals less than a few times a week or not at all.
Boyd adds: 'With the End of Financial Year fast approaching, you can get hospital and extras cover from $17.75* per week and this also allows you to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge on top of your premiums. Joining Medibank means you can access a support network of information and initiatives to help kick start your fitness and wellbeing journey. If you sign up before 30 June 2015, membership also comes with a free FitBit Charge to track your progress or a $200 2XU or adidas voucher**.
For more information head to medibank.com.au.
Interview with Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson
Question: What does #fitspiration mean to you?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: #fitspiration is a fantastic social media trend that aims to inspire and motivate people to be the most happy, healthy and confident versions of themselves. We started Base Body Babes because we really believe in the message and power of #fitspiration. We live and breathe healthy living and we definitely encourage everyone to get active, even in those harder winter months.
Question: Why do you believe people are viewing #fitspiration posts but then not exercising?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: Everyone would love to lead a healthy lifestyle and we understand that putting that into practice can seem difficult. Research from Medibank shows that the main barriers to working out are motivation, time and costs. Nearly a third of Australia believe that it's simply too hard to have a healthy lifestyle. We want people to think with a more positive mindset - every lifestyle change starts with that first step and figuring out what works best for you.
Question: How do you hope to put a stop to #couchspiration?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: There's a lot of great people on social media encouraging people through #fitspiration to lead healthy lifestyles. However, there's a worrying new trend emerging coined #couchspiration, where Aussies are regularly seeing these posts but this doesn't necessarily translate into more exercise or healthy diets. We think the trick is not to think of exercising as a huge lifestyle change, but rather to take small steps to achieving better health. It can be hard to get off the couch in the winter months and start exercising, but we are here to help Australians get motivated and moving.
Question: What are the first steps to better health?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: According to Medibank research, despite over half of Aussies regularly looking at health and fitness posts on social media, there's still a significant number of people avoiding exercise and healthy eating, turning #fitspiration into #couchspiration. The numbers show that 40% of Australians aren't eating healthy meals regularly and 77% aren't regularly exercising. 68% never even make it to the gym. We know life can get busy but we definitely believe that any barriers to improving your health and well-being can be overcome with that first step. It's all about taking manageable steps and finding what suits your lifestyle and what you like. Enjoy all the social media posts, but remember to put that into action afterwards!
Question: What advice do you have for someone struggling to fit in exercise and healthy eating to their busy lives?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: Exercise doesn't have to be an hour long gym session everytime, there are plenty of ways to squeeze in some fitness. Try taking a walk for 30 minutes every other day, or try some high intensity circuits in short 15 minute bursts.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you both?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: We jam pack a lot in! It is usually an early start and straight to our gym with a brekky plate or healthy smoothie from our cafe to kick start our day. We spend our day training ourselves, our clients, shooting images for our social media pages and of course lots of computer work where we email all of our online clients and respond to other work related emails.
Question: How do you ensure you're eating healthy meals?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: When it comes to healthy eating, for us it's all about achieving a balanced diet, which includes lots of fresh wholesome foods. We eat lots of veggies, protein and carbohydrates.
Question: Can you talk about you use your Instagram to encourage Australians to commit to actually taking action rather than just scrolling through the pictures?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: Through our Instagram and blog we've found social media is an awesome way to inspire as many people as possible to lead a healthier life. Social media is part of our everyday lives and it's a great way to motivate people to take up a sport or new workout routine. We try to motivate people by trying everything out ourselves and posting things that we love and what we found works. We think it's about communicating with people that if we can do it, so can you. We love a good snapshot of the latest fitness gear and healthy smoothies, but we encourage everyone to go out and take action too!
Question: Can you share your top five #fitspiration Instagram accounts?
Felicia Oreb and Diana Johnson: Goodness there are so many!
Five that we love are:
Sebastian Oreb (@australianstrengthcoach) is one of the most sought after and leading strength coaches for Australia's elite athletes and trainers. He is our guru and knowledge for all things strength and conditioning.
Daniel Conn (@dan_45_conn) for his positive energy and daily inspiration. He is definitely a #fitspiration go to!
Jessica Sepel (@jshealth) is our resident Nutritionist. She is a Clinical Nutritionist who offers Nutritious recipes and up-to-date information on living a healthy life.
Stylerunner (@stylerunner) is our go to for all our active wear needs, its our one stop shop!
Sporteluxe (@sporteluxe) for all things health and wellness related. The features are always well written and beautifully presented.
Interview by Brooke Hunter