Now that spring is here, many of us may be thinking of improving our health and fitness. However, making changes to eat healthier, be more active or lose some weight and sticking to these changes can be difficult, especially without support.
For over five years, the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service (Get Healthy Service) has been offered by NSW Health. Television advertisements, as well as referrals from doctors and other health professionals, have resulted in almost 5,500 people enrolling in Get Healthy Coaching and another 18,000 opting to receive information about the Service.
Karen Lloyd, Get Healthy Lead for Western NSW Local Health District, said the service is particularly helpful for people living in regional and rural areas.
“At a time when we all want to improve our health, it is great to have a free and convenient service that the evidence shows helps everyone get more out of life,” Karen said.
Evaluation has shown those who completed six months of coaching lost an average 3.8kg and 5.1cm off their waist.
“They also made significant changes to their physical activity levels and healthy eating behaviours, including eating more fruit and vegetables and consuming less soft drinks and takeaway meals,” Karen said.
“These changes will help people avoid lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis”. Coaching is free and very effective, with a series of ten phone calls over six months from the same coach, at a time suitable to you. If you qualify for the Aboriginal Get Healthy Service or the Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Module, you get an extra three phone calls.
“Get Healthy Coaches are all health professionals trained to help you with motivation, behaviour changes, self-regulation, goal setting, overcoming barriers and creating sustainable solutions,” Karen said. One participant describes how “It was very good having that person, it gave you some motivation and justification because if I hadn’t done the right thing I was honest and told her, she didn’t judge.”
Coaches are available Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and plenty of support materials are also available. The Get Healthy Service is designed to help people wherever they live and whatever hours they work. If you already have a health condition e.g. diabetes, you may require Medical Clearance from your GP before taking part in the Get Healthy program.
For more information or to sign up for Coaching, see the Get Healthy Service website www.gethealthynsw.com.au or ring the local call number 1300 806 258.
The service is confidential, free and it works.
MEDIA: For more information, please contact Health Promotion Officer Kerry Smith on 02 6850 2277 or Mob 0449 744 679. Kerry.Smith1@health.nsw.gov.au