Pandemic priorities: LiveLighter urges Aussies not to neglect their health


A new survey has revealed the toll COVID-19 restrictions are taking on Australians’ health, with more than a third exercising less while in lockdown, while a quarter are eating less healthily under the current conditions.  

As a recent YouGov poll of over 2,000 Australian adults showed a decrease in the number of people maintaining healthy habits, LiveLighter is urging Australians not to neglect their health during this time.

LiveLighter’s Campaign Manager and Dietitian Alison McAleese said that although the current pandemic is having an effect on people’s routines and health and wellbeing, now more than ever is the time to eat well and continue to exercise.

“Maintaining a nutritious diet, keeping active and avoiding sugary drinks are all key to staying well and fighting illness. Being in lockdown shouldn’t mean neglecting healthy habits. There are simple changes we can all make to our routines.”

“You don’t have to be a Masterchef to cook a nutritious meal or a professional athlete to get your 150 minutes of exercise each week. It just takes a little planning and small changes to build this into your daily routine.”  

Some of the results from the survey are promising, however, with half those surveyed noting no change to their healthy eating habits and a quarter eating more healthily. And one in four respondents said they are getting more exercise now than before lockdown.

Ms McAleese congratulated Australians on their healthy efforts and encouraged people to see this as the beginning of their new healthy lifestyle rather than a short-term health kick.

With more people working from home, LiveLighter is encouraging Australians to fall back in love with cooking and create their own ‘pandemic pantry’.

“Many people are now cooking three meals a day so planning is more important than ever. Planning your meals not only helps you add variety to your diet and save money, but it can also ease the stress of supermarket trips,” Ms McAleese said.

“Make the most of ingredients you already have in your pantry, freezer and fridge while maximising your nutrition intake. Having long-life ingredients like canned veggies and herbs will help you build up your recipe repertoire without breaking the bank.”

Although the current lockdown conditions have thrown off many people’s exercise routines, Cancer Council WA’s Cancer Prevention and Research Director Melissa Ledger is encouraging Australians to get creative with their physical activity.

“We know being physically active is one of the most effective ways to improve your health but being indoors more than usual can make finding the right sort of workout a struggle.”

“There are still plenty of ways to get your heart rate up, both indoors and outside. Whether it’s a zoom yoga or pilates class or a walk or run around your neighbourhood, being physically active will keep you fit and improve your mood.  Just remember to practice safe social distancing guidelines,” Ms Ledger said.

LiveLighter has launched a new healthy at home hub, providing everything from healthy recipes, exercises to do at home and general tips on how to stay healthy – both mentally and physically while in lockdown.

LiveLighter’s tips for keeping healthy during lockdown:

  • Try LiveLighter’s sample weekly menu that includes recipes and ingredients lists for three meals and snack ideas.
  • Bulk up your meals with vegies and legumes. Try adding mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes to omelettes or on toast. Sneak in grated vegies to pasta sauces and chopped vegies like pumpkin or peas to casseroles.
  • Save time by cooking meals in bulk and freezing. Try some of LiveLighter’s freezer friendly recipes: chicken and vegie piesbaked tomato riceor homemade burgers.
  • Don’t just stop at main meal prep - start making healthy snacks at home too. Try these LiveLighter recipes: blueberry and banana breadchoose your own adventure muffinseasy popcornor garlic spiced oven roasted chickpeas.
  • Head out for a walk or jog in your lunchbreak. Keen to stick to a regular walking routine? Then work your way into it with LiveLighter’s couch to 3km walk training guide. Just remember to adhere to the social distancing rules.
  • Turn household items, including water bottles, tinned food and jumbo shampoo/conditioner bottles, into dumbbells. LiveLighter’s guide to shoulder press and tricep extension exercises will help you make the most of your new equipment.  
  • Clocked off for the day? Embark on an endorphin-pumping brisk walk, cycle or jog. It’s not called a runner’s high for nothing!
  • Tell a friend about your exercise plans to keep you motivated. Maybe your friends will join you for a virtual workout! Pick and choose from LiveLighter’s exercise videos to get you started.