Nurse shapes up and makes her own health a priority

Donna Leary has spent her career caring for the health of others. Over the years the experienced nurse has put her own health on the backburner but now she’s shaping up and using the community-wide health challenge to change that.

Donna was one of the first to sign up to the challenge which officially kicks off today (Monday 18 June).

Working as a Nurse Navigator for stroke patients she sees firsthand how lifestyle choices can affect our health.

“Since working in stroke I have come to know the risk factors well and it was a scary thought when I realised I ticked a few of the boxes,” she said. “I know reducing these risk factors can result in better quality of life, increased wellbeing and satisfaction with health. One of the best ways to do this is getting in the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day.

“I don’t want to end up in a hospital bed trying to rebuild my life after a stroke and I wouldn’t want my choices to impact my family.

“I’m making a conscious effort to make my health a priority and take the same advice that I give to my patients.”

Donna has previously taken part in similar challenges, seeing them as a great way to stay motivated.

“We all fall off the wagon every now and again but it’s important to jump back on and not beat ourselves up,” she said.

“I see this challenge as a bit of fun and something I can do with others in my workplace as a number of us are involved. “Not that I think there’s much competition but any chance to show Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQHHS) we can beat them I want to be involved!”

About the health challenge

From Monday 18 June challenge participants are asked to count their steps and record their waist measurements and kilograms to help Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday take the crown of healthiest regional community in Queensland. Signups are still open and anyone can get involved.

There’s even more reasons to join in with a $3,000 Mackay City Centre healthy lifestyle voucher up for grabs for the individual that makes the most overall improvement to their health. Plus, there’s three Whitsunday getaways to the individual who signs up as a coordinator and inspires the biggest tribe to join in.

To join visit, create your own account, enter your current health information and choose the Mackay Hospital and Health Service challenge.

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