Walking their way to improved health

Emily AceSouth Western Times
Breast cancer survivor Helen Moffat, centre, always finds time to exercise with her fellow walkers Elizabeth Lock, Lori McRae and Frankie Durack.
Camera IconBreast cancer survivor Helen Moffat, centre, always finds time to exercise with her fellow walkers Elizabeth Lock, Lori McRae and Frankie Durack. Credit: Jon Gellweiler/South Western Times/Bunbury Herald

New research has shown West Australian women were the least likely in the nation to get enough physical activity due to being time-poor, but one Bunbury women’s walking group is bucking the trend.

More than 35 per cent of WA women said they could not get the recommended minimum of two hours physical activity a week, while more than 37 per cent of respondents Nationwide said they did not have time to prepare or eat healthy foods while working full time.

Bunbury woman Helen Moffat was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 and believed exercise was the secret to recovery.

Each Wednesday at 8am, Mrs Moffat and a group of woman battling or recovering from cancer enjoy an hour long walk – rain, hail or shine.

“It makes the world of difference to how you feel and your energy levels improve,” Mrs Moffat said.

“Being with other people and just having a laugh is really good. It makes all of us going through cancer cope a lot better.

“It is about making the commitment – that is what is important.”

Cancer Council WA’s regional education officer Shenae Norris said small steps could make a big difference to women’s health, despite the barriers.

“It might seem hard to fit in physical activity when you’re juggling a job with family commitments, but there are some easy ways to incorporate the exercise you need into your everyday routine,” Miss Norris said.

“Try getting off public transport a few stops earlier and walk, take the stairs instead of the lift or, instead of sitting to spectate at your kids sporting activity, do a lap around the court.

“By killing two birds with one stone you’ll find there are plenty of ways to be more active.”

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