Healthy Heart Challenge
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Karen Hardy

Karen Hardy is a senior journalist with The Canberra Times. In her time at the newspaper she has worked across all sections, from news and sport, to lifestyle and food and wine.

She is currently a senior features writer.

She is also a mother of two children, aged 10 and eight, who ensure she actually works harder at home than she does in the office.

Like many part-time workers she wonders if she does anything to her full potential.

As Healthy Heart Champion Karen has vowed to find 30 minutes a day of exercise and is wondering if doing the ironing counts.

She wants to encourage all working mothers to get off the busy treadmill of life and find time for exercise. Or does that count as exercise as well?

Karen will be writing a weekly column for The Canberra Times each week during the Healthy Heart Challenge. The column will appear in the Relax magazine, each Sunday.
Week 3 update
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit … three weeks in and it feels as though the changes I’ve already made are here to stay. Thirty minutes a day isn’t that much at all. Schedule it in, that’s the only way to find it. A big thanks to friends and family who have joined up. Hope you’re feeling as good as me.

Week 6 update

I have had a couple of weeks where it’s all gone, well, not wrong, but slightly down hill. Schedule’s been a little crazy but rather than looking for excuses I have decided to think positively. So what if I’ve missed a couple of days exercise, here and there … that’s not the end of the world. I’m using the knowledge I’ve gained from the Challenge to think longer term. It’s all about making changes for life; an occasional bad Tuesday isn’t that demoralizing. Keep at it!
Week 9 update
As the Challenge comes to an end, the main thing I’ve realised is that making changes is not about making big changes. The 10 weeks are nearly up and I’m still not able to run a marathon nor have I totally conquered my cravings for the occasional potato scallop. But I’m more knowledgeable about the changes I need to make and have started making some. Not big changes but little incidental things. In those times where it all seems too hard, there’s too much on, there’s not enough time, even things like parking in the furthest spot in the supermarket car park all help.

Be proud of what you’ve achieved during the Healthy Heart Challenge, be optimistic about what’s to come. To have 10 weeks to think about yourself is a blessing but it shouldn’t stop here.