Australian women: Why do they seem so much happier than we Americans do? Is it their gorgeous beaches? Their perpetual sunshine? The fact that everyone is naturally blond?
We have a few Aussies here at Byrdie L.A., and they're some of my favorite people for many reasons, not least of which is their delightfully chill vibes. This Aussie easygoingness seems to inform every aspect of life—fitness included. For example, when asked to summarize the difference between how L.A. girls and Aussies approach fitness, Sacha Strebe (editorial director of our sister site MyDomaine) said: "In L.A., people are really into fitness but more in terms of trends, and people are more into the gym. Whereas in Australia, fitness is more of a lifestyle." In other words, while we Americans have to make exercise this totally high-stress, neurotic thing, Aussies have a legitimately healthy attitude toward it all. (I said it, not Sacha.)
When it comes to fitness, we have a lot to learn from our sisters in the south, and that's exactly what we're talking about today. Keep scrolling to learn how Australian women get in shape the sane, balanced way!
1. Take your workouts outside whenever possible.
"It's important for my happiness that I go outside in the fresh air. I run two to three times a week, for around 20 to 30 minutes at a time. My run is always outside; it gives me a nature hit of fresh air and helps to keep my spirits high." — Kate Kendall
2. Establish simple fitness rituals you can do every day.
"My favorite quick tip is starting the day with a glass of warm water (have this before breakfast) with a half of a squeezed lemon, and add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. I enjoy drinking this while doing a five-minute relaxation/yoga session (or in other words an amazing stretching session!). This combination enables my body to wake up properly and prepare for the day." — Dominique le Toullec
3. Think of exercise as something you do for your happiness as much as your health.
"For me, being active is my way of life. I grew up on the Sydney beaches playing every sport I could, and I was always outside. Movement, exercise, and challenging my body is an essential ingredient to me when it comes to leading a happy life." — Ashley Freeman
4. Personalize your fitness routine because everyone's body is different.
"Number one is to love yourself enough to look after yourself. Love your body, mind, and who you are. And education. You can never learn enough! Especially about yourself. Learn about what’s good for you, how you can help your body, and most importantly how your body reacts to the way you treat it. It may take a bit of trial and error. We are all different, but it's about understanding what is right for you." — Amanda Bisk
5. Find a workout that makes you so happy you get addicted to it.
"[Yoga is] the best thing ever. I'm self-taught, so I like to just practice on my own. After the sun comes up, I'll do some yoga on the beach. After yoga, I'll go for a quick swim in the ocean. It's a lot warmer in Australia, of course, but as long as weather permits, I like to get a bit salty. Yoga is so grounding, but going for a swim is freeing and refreshing. You get rid of all that sand on your body from the yoga. And you just can't dive under a wave and come up on the other side not smiling." — Sjana Elise Earp
6. Don't overwhelm your body with too many things at once.
"Less equals more. A lot of the time people try and go too hard, too fast. The biggest causes are too much training, restricting calories too far, or even not resting enough. This typically results in an overload of stress that can heavily prevent weight loss. If your body is comfortable and not stressed, it will act the way you want. Basically, if you overwork your body and treat it poorly, it won't do what you want. … Take the advice of ONE person/programme. If you constantly change what you are doing, your body is always playing catch-up. If you do the right thing, one way, all the time, you will constantly progress." — Kayla Itsines
7. Treat nutrition with a sense of humor.
"One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. … The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive." — Shayelle Lajoie