Kiwis must grasp a far greater awareness of health

Richard Beddie

Richard Beddie

New Zealanders need to grasp a far greater awareness of health in 2019, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie said today.

ExerciseNZ’s recent consumer research report found awareness of health is the number one reason people exercise, which is just under three quarters of all New Zealand exercisers.

“This is quite consistent across all age bands, genders and income levels,” Beddie says.

“There are lots more choice now from traditional gym offerings and everything from $6 a week to $75 for boutique and specialist studios, as well as park, hall or mobile based services. 

“Also, a far greater variety of products are on offer, with everything from yoga to boot camp and 20-minute-high intensity classes to 90-minute meditation sessions.

“We are seeing a greater diversity of individuals interested in exercise. Many gyms have their youngest member in their teens and oldest in the 80s or 90s. 

“Equally, disabilities and or health conditions that would historically be viewed as reasons not to exercise are now being catered for.”

The ExerciseNZ consumer research report said 51 percent of all respondents indicated they had carried out structured exercise in the past 30 days and just under half of these, around 743,600 adults, reported currently having a fitness membership.

Non-participation in structured exercised activities generally increased to a peak among 55 to 64 year olds.

While 18 to 24 year olds are relatively active in structured exercise terms, participation dropped significantly from 25 years of age and to a minority after 45 years of age, Beddie says.

“Exercise is still the #1 new year’s resolution for most Kiwis and is also now the #1 sport in New Zealand with more than half a million participants and growing research confirming the health benefits of activity for all Kiwis.

“The new year is a good time to start doing something regularly; the variety of exercise offerings has never been greater in quality or more diverse in offering including price options and product range,” Beddie says.


- Make Lemonade

Meet Julie Buckley


Health & Nutrition Coach & Chef helping people reverse Type2 Diabetes.

-Written by Tony Cutting

Julie (nee Middlemiss) Buckley was born in Dunedin.  Her dad Grant Middlemiss (a retired Police Inspector) and mum Sheryl Love (a retired National Bank employee) had two children Julie the oldest and her younger brother Peter Middlemiss - a Police Sergeant.

As a child her family moved around the country a bit due to her das occupation.  Living in Dunedin, Wairoa, Auckland (where she started school), Ashburton, Christchurch, Oamaru (where Julie started Intermediate then high school) and then Wellington.

Julie loved gymnastics when she was a kid and belonged to a competitive club.
She also enjoyed athletics – “I represented the school in long jump and high jump.”
She also played netball.

“I was very shy as a child and found it hard to make friends.  I liked reading and being outside climbing trees and being in nature and with animals.  I would just start settling in somewhere and we would move. “ 

Secondary School

Julie started secondary school at Waitaki Girls High School in Oamaru where she escaped to the gym with every given opportunity.

“I could get to escape the bullying I received due to my father being the head cop in town.”  

Julie then moved to Wellington ahead of her family (due to the bullying) and lived with her Aunt and Uncle for a while.

Julie started at Tawa College where she claims she was an average student?

“I really liked home economics (no surprises there) and I really enjoyed science as well - I was hopeless at maths - I think I missed some crucial bits due to moving and it never quite made sense to me.”

“I played cricket at secondary school and kept going with gymnastics until I was about 15 but I was too tall really. “

Julie made some good friends when we moved to Wellington, some of whom she still keeps in touch with.   

“Tawa College was a good school, so I was happy for both my sons to go there even though we are out of the school zone”.

Julie went on the Spirit of New Zealand when she was 15 years old.  

“I took the overnight train to Auckland and learnt how to sail as part of a team of young people.  We had to jump overboard each morning for a swim and learnt great team building.  I had to give a speech when I got back to the school on my experience which was terrifying! “

“I was really only at Tawa College for about 2 years when I was given the opportunity to go to CIT (Central Institute of Technology) in Trentham and train to be a chef at age 16”. 

At CIT Julie says she was a good student all down to the fact she was now learning something she was really interested in.

“I came out of my shell while training in Trentham, a group of us travelled in a beat-up old car with the bonnet tied down with string.  Travelling from Tawa over the Haywards to Trentham each day.  We trained together for about a year in the New Zealand curriculum for Cookery. 

I came second in my class behind the only adult student. We then had some classes at Wellington Polytechnic once we had completed our hours.  I also completed the Certificate in Wine training.” 

Welcome to working life

Julies first job after graduating was at La Spaghetata Restaurant in Wellington in 1987 where she was worked for about 3 months before being selected to work at the Plaza International hotel.  

“The Plaza International was really was like Lenny Henrys Chef program or something out of kitchen nightmares with Gordon Ramsey where I was petrified of the head chef who was a small guy who screamed at everybody all the time.  I was petrified!”

“A vivid memory of that time was in my first week on a split shift where I was told everyone was off to the ‘hairdressers’ where they escorted me to the pub across the road and shouted me multiple beers trying to get me drunk.”

Julie was put on night shift and for about 3 months, she caught the last train into Wellington and started work about 11pm and cooked the room service orders and prepared the breakfast buffet for the next morning.  

“I went on a two-month youth exchange through the Lions club at the end of 1989 and beginning of 1990 to Canada and the States which was the first time I had travelled outside of New Zealand.  I turned 18 years old while I was over there.

I was then given the opportunity to work in the Governors Kitchen at the Reserve bank.  I cooked and served morning teas, lunches and corporate dinners for the Governor and deputy governors as well as board lunches for visiting dignitaries.  We had an amazing wine cellar and I clearly remember the whispers as one of the board members bought her new baby to the meeting and was breastfeeding during the meeting. 

Getting headhunted at 19 years old

I was then “poached” to work at AMP Insurance to cater for the board meetings and dinners and management functions later in 1990.  Not long after the catering manager retired after being in the role for 30 years.  I took over from him at the ripe age of 19 years old and managed a catering operation for 600 people a day as well as the corporate catering, board lunches, the 40-year club (which is a club of all men who had been at the company for 40 years or more!)  I managed the bar and did the buying of the wine for the wine cellar. 

Fast forward 16 years

Julie is now married with two children.  She also has over 18 years’ experience as a chef working in very senior positions for large organisations.

In 2006 Julie decides that instead of working hard for other people she would work hard for herself and open her very own cafe.  

“We bought a cafe on the Terrace called ‘Pasta Pasta’.  I didn’t intend to run a pasta cafe, but it was very popular, so I kept it going alongside my other cafe food and started catering for corporates including various Government Ministries.  I also made pasta for restaurants around town including spinach fettuccini for Molly Malones restaurant, The Redhead and squid ink pasta for a launch of a new Restaurant in town at the time.  I started adding to my range of gluten free and various other meals for people with special dietary requirements.

I had three full time staff and about six others mostly students who would come in for the busy lunch times and to help with catering.”

The cost of leasing a Café on the Terrace took it’s toll quickly within a year Julie decided to close it down. 

A new ‘Healthy’ start…

Late 2007 Julie started working close to home in the Ngaio Gorge at the Organic Grocer Organic Cafe as a baker/chef.  With the Grocery downstairs and the cafe upstairs, I was loving working with the Organic produce and principles and in my element with the type of food I was making.

In 2009 the manager from the Organic Grocer and I went into partnership and opened the ‘Eat right Café.  

A child with a brain Tumour

Early in 2011 my middle child was diagnosed with a Pituitary tumour and I realised I would have to give up work to concentrate on him and my family and getting through this time.  I had just started one of my many weight loss attempts with a new business a pilot group.

The venture was a resounding success and I lost 32kg within the time we were going through one of the worst times of our lives.  I was so excited about this process I wanted to be part of it.

In May 2011 I became one of the first health coaches for the company.  I focused on the food and nutrition side and used my experience with catering for people with special dietary requirements and built on my knowledge of natural health which I had been studying in my own time for a few years previously.

I absolutely love working with my clients to regain their health with daily coaching while learning about fuelling their bodies using whole real food.  During this time, I have seen many clients regain their health, reverse their diabetes diagnosis and come off insulin and other medications such as blood pressure medication, statins and take the weight off painful joints causing relief from symptoms amongst many other health issues that go with high weight. 

2018 and beyond

“Coming up this February I have been married to Pat Buckley for 25 years.  We have 3 children they are now 19, 20 and 22 and our 22-year-old daughter has recently become engaged.

I have now left the previous health business to concentrate on ‘The Diabetes Clinic’.  Using my knowledge of healing the body using whole real foods I am joining a great team in this exciting new project.

Our challenge is to help people to reverse pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes with Low Carb Healthy Fat eating and intermittent fasting.  My focus is the food and nutrition side with fabulous healthy recipes and meal ideas along with coaching people through the changes and challenges of fasting which I also use myself for staying healthy. 

I am very excited and passionate about this process and am ready to help people live the best lives without a bleak future the progression of Diabetes holds.”

To find out more about the Diabetes Clinic please feel free to check out what we are doing on our Facebook page


The Future

“I see the future, and I am so exciting I am really enjoying working with this project where we are going to help heal the world of the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.  

People can start eating real food as their medicine.  My work doesn’t seem like a job, it is so exciting watching it all come together and the healthy choices people can quickly make to change their lives for the better.

Our next family project is to buy a piece of land to have a lifestyle block, so I can have gardens and fruit trees and animals to feed our family and community.  To live self sustainably off the land.”

How employers can help employees de-stress

Photo: rawpixel-682403-unsplash

Photo: rawpixel-682403-unsplash

Our moment to moment decisions and actions are almost ALWAYS driven by our need to meet one or more of our Emotional Needs.

This month I have an article in NZphotographer magazine - 'How Photography can contribute to meeting each of our Emotional Needs' (page 14).

In the article I explain that as well as the obvious 'basic needs' for water, food, and shelter, humans have a set of 9 Emotional Needs, which are not so obvious but are just as essential to our wellbeing and happiness. In fact, our moment to moment decisions and actions are almost ALWAYS driven by our need to meet one or more of our Emotional Needs. When our Emotional Needs are met in balance we are less likely to suffer from mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Our Emotional Needs are not well understood

Unfortunately, all too often in modern western culture, our Emotional Needs are not well understood or treated with the attention they deserve, and this is reflected in the current high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression within the population. The good news is, that once we understand our Emotional Needs, and how well we are currently meeting them, we can take action.

How employers can help employees de-stress

Writing the NZphotographer article prompted me to think about 'work related stress' and some of the ways in which an employer can help meet the Emotional Needs of individual employees, thereby contributing to their mental and physical well-being.

By actively engaging in activities and practices that help and support individuals to meet their Emotional Needs, an organisation benefits by having healthier, happier and more productive employees. Plus, with an understanding the Emotional Needs model, an employer can focus its limited resources on where they are most needed, to make their employees’ experience of work as rewarding, engaging, and fulfilling as possible, and so enhance their employees’ overall wellbeing.

Below I've listed 5 of the 9 Emotional Needs and have provided some examples of how an employer might help individual employees meet those Emotional Needs. The examples are not intended to present a complete picture of what an organisation can do, but to illustrate what’s possible.

SECURITY: We need a safe place, an environment that enables us to lead our lives without experiencing undue fear and that allows us to develop our potential.

Reduce uncertainty - communicate with employees

Open communication is critical in any organisation. Keeping employees up to date regarding changes, expectations and their own performance not only keeps them on track but also reduces feelings of uncertainty (which our mind perceives as a threat) – after all there is nothing worse than being kept in the dark.

Identify and address negative and potentially damaging behaviours

The organisation needs to be proactive in addressing conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour such as bullying and harassment.


ATTENTION: We need to receive attention from others and also give them attention in return.

Engage more with individual employees

Often this means leaders and managers simply smiling more often, chatting with employees about family or hobbies, having a laugh with them.

Recognize Individual and Group Achievements (see Sense of Achievement below)


ACHIEVEMENT:  We need to feel challenged and stimulated by our environment, to have opportunity to exercise creativity and have a sense that we are accomplishing things of value.

Recognize Achievements

Recognize employees individually for their successes. People not only like to know that they've done well but they want their colleagues to know it too. Likewise, they want to show support and gratitude when their colleagues succeed. An organisation might perhaps create an office newsletter where achievements can be announced on a weekly or monthly basis.

Reduce pressure

When an individual believes they are unable (i.e they lack the resources or ability) to cope with the accumulated demands (work and non-work) placed on them, they are likely to experience stress.

Don't give people more tasks than they can handle and make sure assignments are as clear as possible and that the employee understands the task.

Discourage perfectionism

It may seem counter intuitive, but employees need to know that it's okay to make mistakes.


CONTROL: In order to feel fulfilled, we need to feel like we have the power to exist autonomously and direct our own lives.

Provide employees with choices about the way they perform their job

Individuals need to have some choice or influence about how they perform their job, for example, the way work is done or when to take a break.

Allow flexitime and remote working

A major threat to Emotional Needs, particularly for women, is stringent working hours. Allowing employees to work remotely, or even on a flexi-time scheme provides them with a greater sense of autonomy. You are saying to your employees, “I trust you,” by allowing them to manage their own time. However, it's important to make sure that, as the employer, you manage this sort of flexibility with open communication and by outlining clear expectations and parameters.

Upskill employees

When an individual has the skills and resources they believe they need to do their job, they feel a greater sense of control. Skills that individuals may benefit from developing include time management, delegation, conflict management, public speaking, problem solving.


PRIVACY: We need to obtain privacy when we need to. Our mental and emotional well-being requires that we have time and space enough to reflect on and learn from our experiences.

Provide a ‘chill out’ space in the office

Sometimes people need 15 minutes to relax, re-group and disengage from technology and general work related interactions. Providing a quiet room, or a chill out zone where employees can spend 15 minutes with their thoughts can dramatically help them meet their need for privacy. After taking a short break free from distractions, people often feel refreshed and re-energized to tackle the rest of the day. It's also important, to communicate to employees that it's okay to get up and walk around the office or take a walk outside when they need a break from work.

Every one of us is a unique human being ...

.... with our own preferred balance of Emotional Needs. This means that one-size fits all stress solutions offered by organisations as part of workplace well-being programmes don't always deliver the results they are expected to.

As an employer, tailoring your organisation's employee stress management strategy to specifically target the key challenges that each individual employee is experiencing in meeting their Emotional Needs, can help reduce the negative consequences associated with having a workforce that is experiencing stress, such as - high staff turnover, presenteeism, absenteeism, and low productivity. This approach requires more effort than a one-size fits all approach but the return on investment can be substantial.

What Next?

Helping people to regain control over their stress and anxiety is my passion. If you'd like to explore how I can help you, or your employees, regain control over your/their stress let's have a chat. You can contact me now on 021 056 8389 or email me at

Wishing you a happy, calm and productive week in your workplace.
Go well

REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."

Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise lies in helping people to 'change their minds' so they gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress, overcome limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of solution focused coaching, neuroscience, positive psychology and clinical hypnosis.


In Defence of the Fight or Flight Response

Photo Credit: Gabriel Matula on Unsplash.

Photo Credit: Gabriel Matula on Unsplash.

In many stress management books and articles we are painted as hapless victims of a pathetically primitive survival system – the Fight or Flight response (aka the stress response). The argument goes that the Fight or Flight response whilst suitable for helping our ancestors deal with sabre-tooth tigers and the suchlike, is wholly inappropriate for us modern day humans when, for example, we're stuck in a traffic jam or facing an unrealistic deadline at work.

According to the Fight or Flight critics, this woefully outdated response goes off like a car alarm every time we are in trouble and makes everybody sick, and the best thing would be if we could stop it with a ‘magic bullet’ or have it surgically removed. Some stress ideologists even claim that Mother Nature is trying to kill us!

The question is, should we really perceive ourselves as victims of a natural response that has played such a key role in our survival across millennia?

The Fight or Flight response is remarkable. It evolved to help us deal with physical threats against which we could take physical action (e.g. the oft quoted sabre tooth tiger). However, the majority of the threats we face today do not represent physical threats to our survival, rather they are perceived threats to our Physical and Emotional Needs. These perceived threats may be real or imagined. 

The amygdala, a very primitive, early developed part of brain (which gives the signal to activate the Fight or Flight Response) isn’t able to distinguish between actual life threatening physical events and imagined threats. Indeed, when the Fight or Flight response first evolved we didn’t have a ‘thinking brain’ and there was no such thing as imagination. Today, when we imagine ourselves in a scenario where one or more of our Physical and Emotional Needs is under threat, we are likely to trigger the Fight or Flight response.

The consequence of triggering the Fight or Flight response is a mixture of physiological, mental and emotional symptoms we label stress. Stress, while often disquieting and unpleasant, is intended to galvanize us to take urgent action, or make urgent plans, to solve the riddle of the situation in order to save ourselves from the threat. 

The Fight or Flight response functions like a fire or burglar alarm, and the stress it produces is not meant to be ignored, or endured. It’s a call to action. So rather than subscribing to the idea that the Fight or Flight response has outlived its usefulness and should be switched off, we need recognise it for the valuable role it continues to play in our day to day survival and well-being.

To reduce the stress we experience from inappropriate activation of the Fight or Flight response we need to:

  • learn how to stop misusing our imagination

  • get better at appraising threats

  • enhance our coping capabilities

  • learn to deal with stress before it begins to have an adverse impact on the way we live our lives.

What Next?

If you’d like to explore how well you are currently dealing with stress and how you can manage your stress better, contact me on 021 056 8389 or email


Have a wonderful week.

Go well



REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."


Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise lies in helping people to 'change their minds' so they gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress, overcome limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of solution focused coaching, neuroscience, positive psychology and clinical hypnosis.


NZ streets ahead of India and China on female participation in exercise

Richard Beddie

Richard Beddie

New Zealand is tiny compared to the population powerhouses of China or India, but the Kiwi exercise culture is streets ahead of those countries in terms of female and male participation, Exercise NZ chief executive Richard Beddie says. 

China and India’s exercise industry is still male dominated. Over three quarters of attendees to gyms in India and China are men, who in turn focus almost exclusively on building muscle, and the workforce is more than 80 percent male in India, compared to 45 percent in New Zealand, he says. 

Beddie has recently returned from speaking to counterparts in China and in Mumbai and Delhi in India, where wrestling has been a popular sport and strong tradition among men. 

“Far fewer women, on a percentage basis, are involved in the exercise industry in those countries, other than tai chi and yoga. 

“Women, in India and China have, in the past, been stay-at-home mums, with inherent responsibilities, and no time to go out and exercise in structured facilities. 

“Secondly there are not many gyms in India for both male and female and not many women can afford or have time for a workout. 

“But in neighbourhood parks (in morning and evenings), women are among many people of all ages walking, running and strolling about, for exercise. 

“New Zealand also has a more comprehensive training methodology, is more holistic in its approach and able to help more people, be they older, younger, female or male or those with health conditions.   

“We have the highest percentage of our industry's exercise professionals registered (just over 70 percent), compared to under 20 percent in many countries with registration systems and as high as 50 to 60 percent in Australia and the United Kingdom. In New Zealand, exercise professionals register with the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals. 

“We have some of the best training systems and personal trainers in the world.  We have the best group exercise organisations. Les Mills for example has 12 national gyms and is still growing, aiming to have 75,000 members throughout New Zealand within five years. 

“Its sister company, Les Mills International, focuses on fitness programmes which are used in 19,500 gyms in 100 countries. 

“Where we need to work on - being more accessible to the non-exerciser and helping them getting started and stick with a new exercise programme.”

-Make Lemonade