2016 in Review with Julie Chester

It’s pretty safe to say most of you would have seen Julie Chester frequent the gym. We wanted to find out a bit more about what makes Julie tick and stay so committed her health and fitness. We also wanted to hear about what she accomplished in 2016 and what she is looking forward to in 2017

Here are her responses:

Hc: How long have you been a part health culture gym and what is your weekly exercise routine?

I actually started going to 1 or 2 classes per week way back when Dasher started his gym in Craig’s shed. When they moved down the main street I used to go to classes there and did the bootcamps that were offered, and have continued with classes and now I also enjoy small group PT sessions at the present gym.

My weekly exercise program is 1 or 2 boxing classes, 1 x HIIT class,  1 x pump class and 2 x small group PT classes. I also try to get a run/walk in once a week. I am not good at just going into the gym to do my own thing as I lose motivation so I enjoy the classes where I am told what to do. I find having people rely on you to show up such as a boxing partner and the others in my group PT makes me get out of bed in the mornings also.

Hc: Why did you become a part of health culture?

 I had noticed that over time I had started putting on weight and for a while I just accepted it as “middle age spread” and thought it was just something that you lived with. After a while, I wasn’t comfortable with the way I looked and felt, so thought it was time I did something about it. It has been a gradual process, starting with just one or two class a week, gradually building up to what I do now.

Through the gym I have developed some great friendships with other likeminded people and I enjoy the social part of it as well.   

Hc: Can you give us a review of your year for 2016 including events you’ve been a part of and why?

I was asked to join some friends to do 50km The Fred Hollows Foundation Coast trek walk in Sydney in March last year. As part of the commitment you are required to raise $2000 per team for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

In preparation a group of us did several walks to Rutherglen and back, I walked Nail Can Hill over and back and joined Megan doing a walk at Beechworth as part of her fund raiser.  The walk itself takes in some beautiful scenery around the coastline in Sydney and I got to walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge which was pretty cool. The walk took us 11 and a half hours, so to spend that long on your feet is quite exhausting.

A few months after the memories of the exhaustion had faded, my friends once again asked me to join them in doing The Fred Hollows Foundation Melbourne Coast trek in November. This walk even though it is called the Melbourne Coast trek is on the Mornington Peninsular and there was only a 60km walk or a 30km. We opted for the 30km walk this time as the weather there can be very unpredictable. Once again the scenery was spectacular as you walk along some beautiful coastline. We completed this walk in 6 hrs and I must say I felt much better at the end.

These are things I never thought that I would have or could have done if it wasn’t for encouragement I received from my trainers and gym buddies. 

Hc: What would you like to achieve in 2017?

I haven’t really got any big events planned at this stage…there has been talk of trekking in Tasmania or doing a bike ride/wine tour of New Zealand.

I would however like to get those “Sam Stosur arms” so would like to see a bit of muscle definition happening! 

Hc: Why do you continue to exercise and why is it important to you? 

Exercise has now become just part of my daily routine, just like getting up and making the bed! I now get up, make my bed and go to the gym! I feel so much stronger and fitter than I used to and I don’t think I look too bad for “an old girl”

To be honest, the social aspect of being with other people is important to me too. As I work a lot of the time by myself, having that connection with others in the group classes and my PT group is important to me. 

Hc: Do you have any words of wisdom or advice to pass on?

If you are starting out, make that mental shift to “commitment” Be committed to showing up.

Don’t be worried about “I mightn’t be able to keep up” or  “I won’t be able to do it” The more times you do it, the stronger and fitter you will get. Others in the classes are just worrying about doing their best, they won’t be judging you on what you are doing.


Thanks for your time Julie and keep up the great work.