Working out at the Summit Sports and Fitness Centre gym at Goonellabah for the first time this year is Samantha O’Leary, of Lismore.
Working out at the Summit Sports and Fitness Centre gym at Goonellabah for the first time this year is Samantha O’Leary, of Lismore. Claudia Baxter

Shedding Chrissie excesses

AUSTRALIANS piled on an average of 1.77 kilograms over the festive season, according to a recent study, prompting Northern Rivers residents to hit the gym.

Summit Sports and Fitness Centre gym assistant Lou Sykes said the Goonellabah gym had been inundated with new members wanting to kick-start their New Year’s resolution and shed the Christmas kilos.

While Lismore gym-goer Samantha O’Leary said she wasn’t looking to lose any extra Christmas pudding, she said exercising was a great way to encourage a ‘stress-free’ 2010.

According to the study conducted by BigPond Health, more than two-thirds of Australians surveyed put on weight over the festive season, and of those that gained weight, the average was 1.77kg. Australia’s collective Christmas blow-out was calculated at a whopping 20 million excess kilos.

The study found that 65 per cent of Australians had made ‘getting fit and losing weight’ their New Year’s resolution at least once in their lives.

Of those that have made the commitment, 83 per cent of people gave up before the year was out.

Ballina Community Health Centre nutritionist/dietician Richard Grzegrzulka wasn’t surprised by the statistic. “The flesh is weak,” he said.

“Christmas is a special time and I think a bit of excess is fine, but it shouldn’t become a habit.”

Mr Grzegrzulka advised those intending to shed kilos as part of a New Year resolution to aim for slow and gradual weight loss and make realistic lifestyle adjustments.

“Think of taking up a form of exercise that you don’t mind doing and aiming for a realistic year-long goal,” he said.

“In Australia more than 60 per cent are overweight, and 15 to 20 per cent are obese.”



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