I am a strong believe that a healthy body will create a healthy mind. However as I am not a fitness or health expert I decided to ask some questions around this topic from someone who is!

So I got with Cassie Cooper from Big Picture Training, who is an amazing Personal Trainer. Not only does she work out your body, but helps you work on health food habits and positively engaging your mind.

Here is what Cassie had to say…


As a fitness professional, what would you consider to be great health and fitness?

I consider great health and fitness to be your ability to live a full and happy life.  Forget the flawless image you’ve seen on Instagram, or the amazing athlete at the Olympic Games, as great health and fitness is your ability to participate and enjoy your own life.

Now I’m not talking about your ability to sit and watch movies and eat popcorn, although there is a time and place for that too, but your ability to go sailing at a moments notice, to go on a hiking adventure, or to run full pelt from Security Screening at the Air Port to Gate 22 for ‘Final Boarding’!!

Things to consider when assessing your health and fitness;

  • Are you able (besides disabilities) to complete functional tasks and to participate in life’s pleasures?
  • Do you have natural, sustained energy throughout the day?
  • Do you LOVE your life?


Do we need rigorous exercise to keep us fit?

Fitness for the sole purpose of a high quality of life, needn’t be excessive, long or taxing. In fact, in combination with Daily Roaming, 7-30mins three times a week is adequate enough training to keep the body fully functional.

Long gone are the days of long rigorous workouts, thank goodness.  But be aware, inactiveness is now being compared to smoking as a community health problem, so Daily Roaming is incredibly important to our overall Health and Fitness.  Go for a walk, take the stairs, ride your bike, swim, complete a fun run, triathlon, go for a surf, or play a game of Frisbee…  We are designed to move, so MOVE!  Regularly.  For fun, and for a long healthy life!

**Note; Long rigorous workouts are otherwise known as ‘Chronic Cardio’, which is a destructive workout pattern that involves long periods of repetitive exercise, and leaves the exerciser feeling drained of energy and confused as to why life still sucks.

There are all these different diets out there, what is the best approach to what we eat?

Step 1. Eat REAL unprocessed food. Your body is designed to eat REAL food, not products wrapped in plastic and marketed only to make big companies rich… jaded? Yes, I think I am!

Step 2. Stop counting calories.  Calories In – Calories Out may seem logical but it is a flawed weight management system.  Aim for high quality foods rather than low-fat foods.

What do you think is the major challenge for people when it comes to health and fitness?

The biggest challenge is that people don’t know what to believe anymore. We are bombarded with images and messages from Social Media, Marketing Material, Government, Bloggers, and ‘Experts’, all competing for our attention and money. Most people complain to me that they are confused, and I don’t blame them!

What is more important: the food we eat or the exercise we do?

Food.  Eat REAL food and your whole body will function as it should.  The right hormones, which release or store fat, and turn on/off your hunger switch are activated, your digestive system and metabolism works efficiently, you think clearer, have more sustained energy, clearer skin, and are happier!

Exercise develops this even further, but you can’t out train a poor diet!


What does heart rate got to do how effective our exercise program is?

Heart rate plays a pivotal roll in the effectiveness of any training program.  This is quite a  technical topic in terms of monitoring and developing athletes, however for general fitness an exerciser should aim to sit at 55% to 75% most of the time, with three short intense efforts a week, which raises the heart rate to near maximum.

As a fitness professional, what is the best way you can help someone?

As a professional, I show practical solutions to my clients woes.  It’s not always a matter of knowing a lot about exercise, but rather how to communicate those ideas and apply it to every day life.  From years of experience and having achieved fitness goals myself, I know that the journey isn’t always smooth but it is always worth it, so I encourage, support and cheer on success!

Should I be worried about my BMI?
I prefer the Waist Measurement, as I believe the BMI to be deeply flawed.

Health and Fitness is simple.  Eat REAL foods, do REAL movements, get plenty of sleep, some sun, play lots and have fun.  Do as you are designed to do!