Merimbula to Melbourne and beyond!

We’ve been travelling for two weeks on Friday and it’s going w-w-wway too fast! We’ve managed to squeeze 4 days of work into our schedule, running fitness courses in Canberra, Pambula and two in Melbourne. We’ve met over 40 fitness instructors in the last 2 weeks, inspiring folk who are working in rural and coastal communities, or big cities and at major aquatic centres.  The instructors we meet sometimes drive 4 hours to get to a course or only have to commute for 10 mins. Each one of them has given up anything from 5 hours to perhaps 10 hours (depending on the commute) to come along to a fitness course. 

Often the instructors are paying for the sessions themselves, and doing so in their own time. For Jack and I, it reinforces our passion and belief in the fitness industry. The people we are meeting are running aqua sessions for over 100 people a week in their communities and some of them have been doing this for 20 years. They are turning to such courses as ours, and are open to new ideas, looking for some new moves and inspiration.  Listening to them, and their journeys and seeing their enthusiasm for Aqua has been fantastic; it’s making us, both, aspire to be better instructors. These folk are affecting a lot of people and it’s great to know they are out there, somewhere, helping people get fitter and healthier!

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Our ‘little journey’ and staying healthy and fit on the road is taking shape. We know we can’t sit in a car for long hours and be on our feet for up to 4 hours (running the courses) without doing yoga, so we are actively looking for yoga classes every few days, or trying to do it ourselves, otherwise at our age, our hip flexors and hamstrings would be tight as a drum after 10,000+ kms on the road. 

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Through this need for the yoga we’ve met some lovely people, and two of them, Shardae and Rob Abbott, have created a hot yoga studio on their property in Tura Beach, just minutes from Merimbula on the NSW south coast.  It’s called Hot Yoga Works (https://www.facebook.com/hotyogaworks) and is a stunning little studio, with an amazing entrance and beautiful outlook over the surrounding bush. We felt lucky that we got to meet them and visit their little gem on the Sapphire Coast, and we hope the local community love it as much as we did! 

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We intersperse yoga with a regular round of push-ups and sit-ups and our favourite: the 5 Core On the Floor! You need a TRX of course, but if you are travelling, you’d be crazy not to have one! The 5 core exercises we perform, well they never get easier and if you leave it too long, or you’ve eaten too many pies, they seem even harder than your very first time J!

We try to pop them into our routine at least once or twice a week. The video below is the five exercises performed one after the other as a demo (filmed on location at the NRMA Merimbula Campsite campers kitchen – perfect for hanging TRX straps).  Here is how we do it: perform each exercise for 40 secs and then recover for 30 secs.  You are done in around 6 mins.  For beginners, start at 20 secs on and 30 secs off and do everything on your elbows, not straight arms.

 

  1. Knees to Chest with a push-up (you don’t have to do the push-up)
  2. Pendulum Swing with straight legs, feet & knees together
  3. Mountain Climbers
  4. Pendulum with bent knees to elbows
  5. Suspended Pike

What are the benefits? Strengthening core, abs, glutes, shoulders and back- it really does work every part of the core and abs and helps us alleviate any back pain or bad posture.  I think we’ll be doing it for a long time to come.

Food wise, we’ve been sticking to our regime of poached eggs on toast or Rad muesli for breakfast.  On our way to Melbourne we stopped in on our good friend’s mum, who made us a lovely lunch. We were very lucky to stay with lovely friends in Melbourne who love to eat healthy, and made us green juices and roasted veg with Quinoa.

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We feel kinda bad because we don’t want to put anybody under pressure, but we know that when people hear we are coming to town, they are like, okay so what do you guys eat? One night everyone got Thai take-out and we said, ‘don’t worry about us’, and we whipped up some omelettes and salad.  We are probably drinking/socialising more than we’d like with friends anyway, so why chuck the towel in and go for it, eating stuff we know will make us feel worse the next day.  Apparently it takes two days of processed food to change the microbes in your gut and cause havoc.  We are trying to keep some semblance of good gut bacteria whilst we travel around so that our immune system stays strong.  We don’t want to get sick now! We’ve got to get to Adelaide and Perth in the next few weeks. 

One of our new finds, whilst seeking out healthy food on the go are Flamous Chips, www.flamousbrands.com.  It’s a shame that they are from the United States, but they are the healthiest and tastiest chips we’ve ever had! The founders wanted to find a chip that they would eat themselves and they invented the world’s first falafel chips.  We can guarantee they hold the hummus without disintegrating.  We’ve found flamous chips at several independent green grocers and delis in Victoria.  It’s still chips, but it’s the best version of them!

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Thanks to Google we can pretty much search under organic health store or healthy cafe and find something in the area if we are driving around and want to find some goodies.  Today for example we found an organic food store and cafe just off the Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, McGains Nursery, shop and cafe www.mcgains.com.au and it was a gem.  It doubles up as a nursery and cafe: we bought Wild Organic Rocket from Victoria (never tasted rocket like that before – peppery!); Moroccan chickpea soup with fresh ingredients; some more flamous chips; local fruit and veg and rocket pesto made with pure olive oil, rocket, garlic, parmesan cheese and macadamia nuts – nothing else. 

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When we arrived in Anglesea today, we went for a walk to check out the beach and there was a local surf school taking a school group out for a surf – hardy bunch down here.  It was a high of 7.5 degrees and these guys were hitting the waves.  Suddenly we felt warm, watching them in the ocean. It’s stunning down here and we are kind of glad it’s winter because we are getting it all to ourselves!

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Other things we loved on the road:

Two Birds beer from local brewery in Williams Town: www.twobirdsbrewing.com.au

Wines from Geelong in Victoria: we are a bit partial to 6ft6 Pinot Noir! www.austinsandco.com.au/collections/6ft6wine

Yummy local Buffalo Milk cheese which is 30% lower in cholesterol than cows milk and is a rich source of Calcium, protein and vitamins. It is also 2 to 4 times higher in antioxidants. www.shawriverbuffalo.com