- How to check your measurements
- How to read your results
- How to Measure Up
- How to stay on track
- Need a helping hand?
Are you on your way to chronic disease?
Do you know your waist measurement? You might be at risk of developing a lifestyle related chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Look inside and learn how simple changes can help reduce your risk.
How to check your measurements
- Measure directly against your skin.
- Breathe out normally.
- Make sure the tape is snug, without compressing the skin.
- Measure halfway between your lowest rib and the top
- of your hipbone, roughly in line with your belly button.
How to read your results
If you have a waist measurement of over 80cm for women and 94cm for men,you have an increased risk of developing a chronic disease. If you have a waist measurement of over 88cm for women and 102cm for men you have a greater risk*.
*These measurements are for Caucasian men and Asian and Caucasian women. Recommended waist measurements are yet to be determined for all ethnic groups. See australia.gov.au/MeasureUp for more information.
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How to Measure Up
Here are some helpful tips and practical advice from the Australian Dietary Guidelines (available from www.healthyactive.gov.au) to help you on your way to Measuring Up.
- Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruit and cereals (including breads, rice, pasta and noodles) preferably wholegrain.
- Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or alternatives such as eggs or tofu.
- Include reduced fat milk, cheese or yoghurt or calcium rich dairy alternatives.
- Moderate total fat intake and limit intake of saturated fat,sugar and salt.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Physical activity should be increased – moving more will help make a difference.
Healthy lifestyle choices will improve your waist measurements and your overall health and wellbeing!
No matter what the season, there are always ways to Measure Up
Summer brings Christmas-time and getting the kids organised to go back to school after the holiday period. Here are some tips to help you manage your waistline this season:
- Choose healthy Christmas dishes. Enjoy your Christmas roast with a variety of roast vegetables or have a refreshing fruit salad for dessert.
- Look for ways to increase movement in your day: During visits to the supermarket or department store, park your car further away than usual and walk. Take the stairs or walk up the escalators rather than using the lift.
- Make a healthy lunchbox for yourself and the kids. Keep things interesting with a variety of foods. Try to limit packaged snacks such as chips and offer sliced fresh fruit and vegetables as an alternative.
Autumn mild weather is perfect for enjoying active time outside. The Easter break can still be healthy if you choose your food carefully. Here are some tips to keep you on track over Autumn:
- Enjoy outdoor activities with your family and friends. It is always nice to share a beautiful day with somebody else. Meet a friend for a long walk and talk or join your kids on a bike ride or play in the park.
- Select fruit and vegetables in season. Seasonal produce tends to taste better and is generally less expensive to buy. For information about fruit and vegetables in season, go to www.measureup.gov.au/
- It’s OK to have chocolate as a treat once in a while. Instead of eating a large chocolate egg or bunny, treat yourself to a small amount of good quality dark chocolate.
Winter brings cold weather and shorter days and some challenges for staying healthy and active. Many of us tend to hibernate and reach for the
comfort food during the coldest months of the year. To help you stay motivated and on track to a healthier lifestyle, here are some tips:
- Go for 2&5. Aim to include fruits and/or vegetables at every meal. Remember, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are still good for you! Choose low salt canned vegetables and canned fruit in natural juice. Enjoy a warm bowl of porridge with pears or tinned peaches for breakfast, a nice bowl of lentil soup for lunch, and a healthy winter stew packed with vegetables for dinner.
- Get active indoors. Who says you have to stop exercising because it is cold and dark outside? Head to your local indoor swimming pool, or fitness centre to keep active indoors. If you don’t have these facilities near you why not borrow an exercise DVD/video from your local library or buy one and get active in your living room with family and/or friends!
- Drink plenty of water. It can be easy to get dehydrated during winter as you tend not to feel as thirsty when it is cold. However, being dehydrated can make you feel tired, and you may confuse your thirst with hunger. Keep a bottle of water with you when you are out and about.
Spring brings the smell of spring flowers and warmer weather. Spring is the ideal time to be physically active and to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods.
- Spring is a perfect time to tend to your garden. Gardening activities like digging, shifting soil, and mowing the lawn are great exercise. You can even grow some fruit and vegetables that contribute to eating a healthy diet!
- Fresh produce is ripe for the picking in Spring! Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, and fibre that are all important for good health. To make eating fruit and veg fun create a fruit salad, try a fruit you have never had before and add vege-kebabs to your BBQ.
- Take advantage of the nicer weather and include water based activity as part of getting physical. Go for a swim or take a water aerobics class in your local pool or head to a nearby river, lake or beach.
How to stay on track
- Eat a variety of healthy food every day.
- Start the change at the supermarket – prepare a shopping list and stick to it. Avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry and learn to read the nutritional labels. Visit australia.gov.au/MeasureUp for tips on interpreting food labels.
- Eat regular meals – don’t skip them – and always kick start the day (and your metabolism) with a healthy breakfast.
- Eat more fibre by including high fibre foods such as oats, bran, legumes, vegetables and fruit in your meals and snacks.
- Limit your intake of “sometimes foods” such as lollies, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, pastries, soft drinks, chips, pies, sausage rolls, other takeaways and alcohol.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Give the pantry a makeover – get rid of any foods that might tempt you to stray from your Measure Up goals.
- Stock up with healthy options – download the Measure Up Country Pantry fact sheets from the Measure Up website for lists of pantry pals and freezer friends as well as food facts and serving suggestions.
- Have a regular exercise session with a friend to encourage each other.
- Download your own paper measuring tape from the website and each month record the measurement as you slip down a notch.
Need a helping hand?
Your local GP, practice nurse, community health centre, accredited practising dietitian.
Hit the web:
Bookmark: australia.gov.au/MeasureUp Check out the Measure Up website for links, tips and information. You will find a range of free resources to help you Measure Up including:
- Country Pantry fact sheets with helpful tips and information to help change eating habits for the better.
- A downloadable paper tape measure to determine your waist circumference in the privacy of your own home.
- A 12 week planner to plan your physical activity and meals to help you build and maintain healthy habits for life.
- Access to an information booklet, posters, and non-English speaking background fact sheets.
- Easy to follow healthy recipes.
- Practical and simple tips on how to get more exercise into your daily routine.