Taking Healthy Steps Series

Goal setting

AFLW players are now back at their clubs preparing for the 2018 season. The pre-season is spent further developing themselves as players, as they strive to achieve the ultimate success of a premiership. This isn't possible without setting goals (both short-term and long-term) individually and as a team.

Similarly, Ladder young people go through the process of goal-setting when they first enter the program. These goals may be short-term, such as learning how to cook a healthy meal or a longer term goal of gaining employment, or securing a private rental.

Having a goal helps you to develop new knowledge and skills and can give you a sense of direction. You will learn how to use your time and resources effectively in order to achieve what you set out. And knowing you achieved something in the end is definitely a great feeling!

AFLW player tips on goal setting

Melbourne Football Club player, Harriet Cornder gave us her tips on goal setting.
“Remember, set achievable goals and don’t be too hard on yourself. Take small steps like going for a walk once a week and work your way up to something big like running a 5km fun run”.

Physical Health

The second part in our 4-week series focuses on physical health. Keeping on top of your physical health can lead to many benefits including having a healthier mind, a better night’s sleep and it can also help relieve stress. “Get up, get moving, work your body and your mind” says Kara Donnellan from the Fremantle Football Club.

These benefits are not only important for AFLW players to ensure they can perform at an elite level, but are play a vital part in everyone's life to ensure you get the best out of your self each day.

Physical activity can come in all shapes and forms so the best thing to do is choose something that suits you. For some it might be going to the gym, participating a team sport, surfing or playing an exercise video.

GWS Giants player, Jessica Dal Pos believes that "exercise doesn't have to be boring gym sessions" and likes to "get outside and find new parks, beaches and trails to explore".

It can be as simple as going for a walk. Walking is a great way to get the heart going, it’s easy to do and it can help take your mind off things.

AFLW players tips on physical health:

Melbourne Football Club star, Jas Grierson says that good physical health involves “staying hydrated by drinking enough water during the day", which is made easier "by always having a drink bottle on hand!”

Mental Health

The third week of our 'taking healthy steps' series is all about mental health. Having a healthy mind can help you have a happier outset on life and it allows you to cope when things become difficult.

Being health in the mind is just as important being physically health. Tayla Harris from the Carlton Football Club agrees and says that if you "consider making mental health gains as important as physical, you will exceed your expectations".

There are many ways to keep your mind healthy. You can do meditation and relaxation techniques, exercise or do something you enjoy, like catching up with friends.

Please remember, if you feel like you’re not coping, you can always speak to a trusted person or ask for help.

AFLW players tip on mental health:

In order to keep yourself thinking positively, Emma Grant from the Collingwood Football Club suggests that “each night before you go to sleep, say aloud 3 things you were grateful for that day".

Nutrition

It's important for everyone, athlete or not, to make sure they eat a diverse range of food. Having a balanced diet can have an affect on your general health and wellbeing. Eating well gives you energy and can aid with your mood and sleep. In the long term, it can help prevent the onset of certain diseases.
Melbourne Demons player, Melissa Hickey uses food as a way to catch up with friends, "I love good food and coffee, so going out for dinner and brunch with friends is a great way to relax".

Making sure you get enough of the good food and having less junk food is ideal.

And remember, all things in moderation!

AFLW players tip on mental health:

“Food helps you to become who you are, EAT IT! It's your fuel that keeps you going so choose the healthy option and you will see all aspects of your life change for the better!” Taryn Priestly 2016-7 player at Fremantle FC.

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