Welcome to the 20 Days, 20 Ways of Wellness initiative which aims to help people of all ages improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
With life busier than ever it can be difficult to find the time to support your own wellbeing. Wyndham City have created an easy and simple guide you can follow over the next 20 Days to kickstart or boost your mental and physical wellbeing.
You can begin your 20 Days, 20 Ways of Wellness whenever it suits. Schedule in your daily reminder and get friends and family to join you along the way.
Day 1. Feet or Wheels
Go for a walk or bike ride at any time of day.
Just 30 minutes of walking every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers (Better Health Victoria).
Day 2. Stop and Breathe
Take a time out for meditation, mindfulness, or breathing exercise.
Relaxation techniques can help to relax the mind and body and also manage some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression. There are many types of relaxation, including breathing exercises, visualisation, meditation, mindfulness, and gentle physical activities such as yoga and Tai Chi. (Beyond Blue). These activities take only a short time of your day and can be performed anymore, including a break from work or before bed.
Beyond Blue is a great resource for guided breathing and visualisation exercises, along with many tips on mental health and wellbeing.
Day 3. Plant Power
Fill up half your meal plate with veggies. A bonus is having many different colours!
To manage weight and overall health, it’s important to keep our portion sizes in check. LiveLighter’s tips for being portion smart are a simple way to control what’s on your plate.
- Make half your plate vegetables. They’ve got the least kilojoules and help fill you up. Split the rest between wholegrains (like brown rice or pasta) and protein rich foods (like chicken, fish, red meat or beans).
- Always choose a smaller size when ordering out.
- Eat slowly and don’t get up for seconds immediately. This will allow time for the message that you are full to get from your tummy to your brain.
For many other tips such as mindful eating and the fullness scale, visit LiveLighter.
Day 4. Stretch Sesh
Take a work break to limber, loosen and liven
Sitting at a desk for long periods causes muscles to remain in a shortened state, leading to tightness and possibly pain. Taking frequent breaks is important, and a ‘move and stretch’ break can provide an energy boost, relieve tension, and loosen tight muscles. Try these 4 quick stretches for 30-60 seconds each.
- Standing, rest your hand on your desk for balance
- Clasp your ankle and draw foot towards the outside of the buttock;
- Draw the bent knee level with, or behind, the standing leg knee to stretch the quad muscle. Repeat for both legs.
- Sitting in your chair, cross your ankle over your knee.
- Grab under the ankle and calf of the top leg and lift the leg up til you feel a comfortable stretch. Repeat both sides.
- Seated or standing, reach your arm over your head so the hand goes to the opposite ear
- Gently guide the head in the direction of the shoulder, stopping when you feel a stretch
Full body stretch
- Standing up, cross your arms across your chest and soften the knees
- Let your chest fold forward, lowering yourself to a comfortable level and lengthening all muscles at the back of the body
For more neck and back stretches, perform the ‘After Work’ activity card:
Day 5. Park Life
Discover a new trail or park in Wyndham you have yet to explore.
No matter which corner of Wyndham you reside in, an outdoor space for activity is never far away. Our area is abundant with shared trails, green spaces, playgrounds, and dedicated sporting reserves.
If taking a stroll or family bike ride, explore Wyndham’s trails here:
To find a park or sporting reserve, the excellent myWyndham map will show you all options in a radius of your choice.
Day 6. Everyday Athletes
Take time out for kick to kick, a few overs of cricket, or shooting hoops.
Playing sport does not have to be as part of a structured competitive league. Getting together with friends for an informal game is great for social connection as well as physical activity, or parents with children can spend quality time with kids outside with a ball game instead of inside with a video game.
- Use the myWyndham map to find your nearest reserve.
- Find social sport events for the whole of Melbourne on Just Play.
Day 7. ‘Hello’ for Health
Call or catch up with a friend, colleague or relative
Loneliness has been identified as a new public health challenge, amd can even pose a bigger risk for premature death than smoking or obesity. Loneliness can affect people at any point, but is more common among two key groups: older individuals aged 75 and above and, perhaps surprisingly, young people aged 15–25. (VicHealth)
Making people feel connected to their community is a solution to loneliness, and while that can take the form of local projects, it can start with one on one interaction. Take a brief time today to check in on a friend you haven’t seen in a while, via a phone call, coffee catch up, or walk and talk.
For those experiencing loneliness or isolation, Wyndham City Council’s Social Support network offers ‘Check in & Chat’, a phone chat service available to anyone in the community who may be feeling lonely and would benefit from a regular phone check in and friendly chat. Check in & Chat is a free one-on-one phone chat service, where you’ll be paired with a friendly staff member for a regular chat at a scheduled time and day. Find more information or submit a request here.
Day 8. Smart Swaps
Make small dietary changes for big results.
A few small changes can make your favourite dishes more nutritious and balanced. Try these winning substitutions that will make the whole family healthier:
- Meat - Lean beef mince, chicken or kangaroo instead of processed meats and sausages.
- Dairy- Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and a small amount of parmesan instead of a larger quantity of mild cheese.
- Breads and cereals: Wholemeal bread and brown rice instead of white
- Baking: Halve the quantity of butter and replace with apple puree, natural yogurt or mashed banana.
Live Lighter can help with many other ‘Top Tips’.
Day 9. Posture Pro
Stretch and strengthen for on-point posture
The complications of poor posture include back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders and a potbelly. A suggestion to improve posture is to work on positions of ‘curve reversal’ – for example, if you’ve been leaning over your desk, stretch back the other way. (Better Health) Wyndham’s After Work stretches activity card will do this for you in a short amount of time, targeting sore necks and backs and improving core strength.
Day 10. Splash Active
Fun in the water no matter the season
With many options for swimming in Wyndham, getting active safely in the water doesn’t have to stop in Summer. Below are just some of the options for splash, laps, or cool off.
Werribee South Beach - Swimming*, playground and walking trail on the Werribee South foreshore. *Beach not patrolled at all times
Werribee Outdoor Pool - Seasonal, heated 50m and family leisure pool
Aquapulse - Year round indoor, heated aquatic facility wirth 50m and 25m pools, warm water pool, and kids play pool with splash park.
Day 11. Outdoor Muscles
Create your own workout or complete the playground or bodyweight activity card with the kids.
The Raising Children Network suggest regular outdoor activity for school age children as it:
- Gives your child the chance to explore the natural environment and have adventures.
- Have more space and freedom for big movements, like running, jumping, kicking and throwing. Physical activities like these are good for your child’s health, fitness and physical development.
- Sunlight exposure can help boost vitamin D levels.
And being outdoors is just as beneficial for adults!
Use myWyndham to find your nearest park or reserve.
Access all of the Wyndham Activity Cards including the playground workout here.
Day 12. Mental Movies
Visualise and mentally ‘rehearse’ a goal or healthy habit.
Research has proven that if we are able to visualise something that we want to achieve that it greatly increases the likelihood that will follow through with the actions required for this goal. The more detailed we can get with this mental rehearsal the better, even doing edits and re-do’s of our visualisation - just like filming a movie! Anthony from Wyndham City council can guide you through this process in a series of videos which can be found here.
Day 13. Takeout Turnaround
Make your own takeout favourites at home for a healthier option.
Many fast foods are loaded with sugar, salt, saturated and trans fat while being low in fruit, vegetables, fibre and wholegrains. Eating these types of food regularly puts you at risk of health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and fatty liver disease. So why not make your own healthier versions at home! The whole family can help prep in the kitchen, and these meals will be kinder to your health and your wallet.
Let LiveLighter be your source for your new favourite treat meals:
Day 14. Minute Tone Up
Strengthen, sculpt, or stretch in a bite size workout.
While of course there may be days when we can’t fit in our 30 minutes of activity, don’t let being time crunched turn into a full day without a burst of exercise. Research has shown that even 10 minutes of exercise a day can significantly improve heart strength and general fitness. Let Wynactive coach you through a quick workout that can be done at any spare moment of the day, with a variety of workout styles to choose from.
Day 15. School’s Out(side)
Give the kids an after school dose of fresh air and activity
After spending the day at school, children may have already accumulated up to 7 hours of sitting or sedentary behaviour. Instead of continuing to be sedentary immediately after school with homework or screen time, break up the day and refresh your child’s body and mind with a play in the park, quick ball game, or trail walk. This will not only contribute to young people’s 60 minutes a day recommendation for physical activity and keep the body healthy, but help the brain to develop vital connections, leading to improved concentration and thinking skills (HealthDirect). See if your child’s homework productivity improves after introducing this healthy habit!
Day 16. In-House Fitness
Today is a day to stay home and exercise with friends or family.
For days you simply can’t get to a gym or outdoor space, or simply want to be home as a family, Wyndham City have produced a variety of Activity Card’s for all ages which contain exercise suggestions for the home.
Keep younger kids occupied by creating and exploring a home obstacle course
Adults and Youths can perform a bodyweight workout
Seniors can maintain strength and health using pantry and household items
Day 17. Devices Down
Go old fashioned and look at the screen of real life.
Accumulating hours of time on electronic devices every day can contribute to obesity, sleep problems, back and neck pain, and even depression and anxiety. To combat this, set aside time every day to ‘unplug’, relax with a screen free activity such as going for a walk or reading a book, keep your phone outside the bedroom, and if you are a parent implement limits on screen time for your kids.
Bonus: Social media apps on phone rework task
Today, take out your smartphone and do the following;
- Kids should hall ALL notifications turned OFF
- Rearrange the home screen to remove social media apps from view
- Schedule time for phone use, instead of scheduling time for living!
Day 18. Lunchbox Love
Give kids control over their lunchbox and assemble lunch as a family.
For a healthy lunchbox for kids, Nutrition Australia recommends ‘Pick and Mix 1-6’: Selecting at least one item from each of the five food categories, plus number 6 being essential water intake.
See here for many examples of each food group.
LiveLighter has several easy and nutritious recipes for lunchboxes:
Day 19. Lunchtime Locomotion
Get your step count up after one of the day’s meals.
Today take a 10 minute walk on your lunchbreak (if you are sending a child to school, set them a challenge to walk laps around their school oval). Make note of how well you feel during and after the walk. This can lead to walking as a daily habit and a way you can get physical activity in your daily routine.
Bonus: The simple act of walking can also work as a back strengthening activity that can alleviate pain. Try world renowned back pain expert Dr Stuart McGill’s steps to “Walking with a Pain-Free Style”
1. Achieve the corrected upright standing posture you have found to relieve pain. This will also prevent back muscle cramping.
2. Lightly stiffen the abdominal muscles.
3. Try a few marching steps. This means moving strongly and deliberately but in one place, lifting the knees slightly higher than you usually would.
4. Begin walking, swinging the arms about the shoulders – not the elbows.
5. Progress with larger and faster steps, until you establish a walk that “means business.” Move like you have somewhere to be.
Day 20. Wynning Wyndham
Visit a Wyndham attraction for an active family day out.
Wyndham City boasts many family friendly attractions that not only make for an exciting day trip, but provide an opportunity for exercise in an environment outside the norm, or built into a larger itinerary of fun activities. Why not try:
Wyndham Park - Enjoy brunch or coffee at a Watton Street cafe, followed by following the footbridge to Wyndham Park to explore 2 playgrounds or the lush expansive lawn
Werribee Park Precinct - Go on safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo then stroll the zoo’s river crossing walking trails, or enjoy a picnic followed by a lawn game at the historic Werribee Mansion.
Eagle Stadium - Shoot hoops for a small casual entry fee, or try your hand at something different like table tennis or Ultimate Frisbee.
Price Reserve and Werribee South Beach - Play footy or cricket on the Price Reserve oval, scoot or board at the skatepark, then enjoy a dip at the foreshore.