Health and fitness: Supercars gets people moving

ON FOOT: The path along the harbour was well worn from the Newcastle 500 precinct to the Newcastle Interchange during the three days of the Supercars final round. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
ON FOOT: The path along the harbour was well worn from the Newcastle 500 precinct to the Newcastle Interchange during the three days of the Supercars final round. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Whether you loved it or hated it, there was one thing I noticed about the Newcastle 500 over the past three days – it certainly got people moving as well as talking.

I have set myself the challenge of doing 40 minutes of fitness every day for the last six weeks of 2017 and I had no trouble logging it the past three days.

For a spectator sport, you can really clock up the kilometres on your feet at the Supercars.

I walked at least 10 kilometres each of the three days, including getting to the event and then walking around for several hours to see the action from different vantage points.

And I was not alone.

One lady I spoke to told me she had walked 14 kilometres on one day, including getting there, and her five-year-old son had registered 24,000-odd steps on his activity tracker.

I walked down from near the Newcastle Interchange each day and there were plenty of others on foot.

I heard just one complaint about the distance to get to the entry gates and I heard a few comments on how pleasant the walk along the harbour actually was.

So, from a health and fitness angle, I think it was great to see so many people outdoors and moving.

STEP IT UP: Lyndsay Walker plans to walk Merewether Stairs for 12 hours on Saturday to raise funds and awareness for not-for-profit organisation Soldier On.

STEP IT UP: Lyndsay Walker plans to walk Merewether Stairs for 12 hours on Saturday to raise funds and awareness for not-for-profit organisation Soldier On.

I went for a hot lap (possibly more of a cold lap) around parts of the track that I could access last week. 

As I was moving around I thought it would make a great running event next year – see who can clock the fastest lap of the circuit, which is about 2.6 kilometres, on foot.

I would give it a go, just for something different to do and I know plenty of others who would as well. 

STAIR CHALLENGE

On walking, I met a guy at Merewether stairs recently who is planning to clock up a fair few steps himself next weekend.

Charlestown’s Lyndsay Walker is raising funds and awareness for service personnel support organisation Soldier On.

He is going to walking the stairs for 12 hours from 5am and hopes to raise $4000 for the not-for-profit organisation.

Soldier On helps National Security Agency personnel who may have been impacted by service to get the support they may need. It also helps their families.

Lyndsay aims to climb 50,000 steps continuously as part of the challenge, only breaking for food and water.

SPRING FOOD TIPS

Mullen Natural Health’s Peter Mullen has been giving some good eating tips for spring, and as summer – the salad season – is upon us, this week’s offering is almond, ricotta and orange salad.

He says the toasted nuts give an earthy tone while the ricotta is light and orange adds a sweet but tangy quality. 

Ingredients: Plate full of mixed lettuce leaves, 1/2 cup of almonds pan fried in coconut oil at high heat until brown and warm, 1 diced tomato, 1/2 diced orange, 1/2 orange juice (freshly squeezed), 1/2 cup of ricotta, 1/2 avocado, generous slosh of macadamia oil, salt and pepper to taste.

SPRING LOADED WEEK #13

Here we are, in the last week of spring.

It is never too late to get moving, so get a few sessions in this week to hit summer on the fly.

Try this 40-minute workout which you could do twice a week and a few days apart. On the other days, do a 40-minute swim, walk, easy run, cycle or sport of your choice.

Pick 10 exercises that suit your level of fitness and find a work: rest ratio that also works for you. This might be 45 seconds: 15sec. Exercises could be: squats, shoulder press, skipping, step-ups, bent-over rows, lunges, push-ups, mountain climbers, ab rotation with weights, glute bridge.

UPCOMING FITNESS EVENTS

Variety Xmas Walk Newcastle, December 10, Speers Point Park: A 5km walk for the whole family to support kids living with a disability this Christmas. variety.org.au.

Nobbys to Newcastle Ocean Swim, Nobbys beach, January 27: A 2km ocean swim from Nobbys lighthouse to Newcastle beach. oceanfit.com.au/event/nobbys-newcastle-ocean-swim.

Summer Run 10k Series, Carrington, February 4: The second event of three in this inaugural series. This round offers the opportunity for a fast 10k for the diehards and a flat course for the newcomers. summerrun.com.au.

Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. r.valentine@fairfaxmedia.com.au.