What do you consider the best physical activities for families to do together?
Games! Everyone loves to play games including tennis, touch football, beach volleyball or cricket.
What advice would you give to encourage parents to raise physically fit and healthy kids?
Be a role model. Your children will watch and imitate you. Be someone who sets a fantastic example of how to live a healthy, energetic life. It's the best gift you can give your children.
How can parents motivate their children into becoming physically active?
Again by being the role model and taking the lead. It's about building regular habits and being consistent. Perhaps they can do a sport together or do some basic training together such as laps of the pool, a jog around the block or going for a bike ride. Your kids are your responsibility; so it's up to you as a parent to give them a healthy start in life. And, you will get fit and healthy too!
What examples can parents set for their children to encourage them to be physically fit?
Be involved in a sport! Do some form of physical training everyday that they can participate in or at least they are seeing you and the way you live your life. They are more likely to follow in your footsteps.
What are your thoughts on the media hype surrounding child obesity?
I don't believe that it's hype! You can't fight with statistics. We are one of the fattest nations in the world per capita and Australian children are getting really sick. Type 2 Diabetes is now hitting kids as young as 8 and 9!! It's outrageous!
There is simply too much food available. Our diet is too high in refined carbohydrates, fat, sugars, and there's too much salty food available and the meal portions are too big.
It's just got really out of hand! The only people who can change this are parents. But I have to say that in my line of work, I find that if Mum and Dad are overweight, then all the kids are too and so are the family dog and cat!
Everyone is eating too much and no one is moving more. In fact Australians are moving less and less. I am really worried for our nation's health.
Where did you go to school?
New Lambton Primary, Lambton High and Nelson Bay High
Please tell us about your family.
I have a small family! Just me, my husband and my dog Paddy! We are all exercisers though!
What are your hobbies?
When I am not exercising and working I love horse riding, motor bike riding, cooking, listening to music, reading books and watching DVDs.
What was your first job?
In Barbara's House & Garden at Nelson Bay
What are your career highlights?
• Australian Fitness Leader of the Year 1996
• Fitness Expert on Mornings with Kerri-Anne Kennerley
• The Biggest Loser trainer
• Publishing three books:
'Crunch Time Cookbook'
'Michelle Bridges' Australian Calorie Counter'
• Publishing three fitness DVD's
What do you value most in life?
What is your most unforgettable personal experience?
Learning how to accept everyone for who they are.
What is your favourite Australian destination and why?
I love Byron Bay; we went there for our honeymoon so it holds a special place in my heart.
What is your best overseas experience?
Paris is a city I adore as is New York. I also love the ease of Bali. It's so warm and heavenly.
What do your books contribute to family fitness?
My books give families ideas on training at home, how to clean out the kitchen and great yummy meals for everyone! It will inspire you and your family to be the best they can be!
Michelle's Tips To Get In Shape
• Think of training as an everyday event similar to taking a shower
• Avoid 'paralysis by analysis' - put your joggers on & get out the door
• Start & maintain a healthy eating plan
• Make the time for training 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, 30 minutes there
In today's weight conscious society where childhood obesity, meal replacements and lap band surgery are common conversations, the uncluttered message delivered by Michelle Bridges is a refreshing change.
Best known as the straight talking red team trainer of Channel Ten's The Biggest Loser, Michelle mixes her tough love message with heart warming compassion and understanding. Her endearing qualities and positive messages have captured the hearts and minds of all Australians.
Her books include:
• 'Crunch Time Cookbook': 100 Knockout Recipes For Rapid Weight Loss
• 'Crunch Time: Lose Weight Fast and Keep It Off'
• 'Michelle Bridges' Australian Calorie Counter'
Michelle's book 'Crunch Time' blasted to number one on Penguin's best seller list across all genres.
Crunch Time is about how one can lose weight fast and keep it off. It is divided into three main sections - Get real - Get moving - Get cooking.
On top of her many television commitments, Michelle is never far from front of mind with regular features in magazines and on radio, and plays an active marketing role in all her programs and books.
She has been an ambassador for Adidas Women Australia since 2007 and was the face of their 2009 campaign. She has also been an ambassador for the National Heart Foundation and the RSPCA since 2004 and is working with CanTeen in their healthy lifestyle initiatives.
Michelle also takes her message to schools, corporations and community groups, inspiring and educating school children and executives alike.
Last year Michelle was one of the contestants in Celebrity MasterChef Australia.
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Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 2010