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A Chance to Develop Healthy Habits

Brad Fisher played 99 AFL games for Carlton between 2003 and 2010. He is currently the Manager – Alumni & Corporate Programs at the AFL Players’ Association, and is set to take part in the TeamUp 20 Day Challenge starting this Sunday, April 13.

During my AFL career, the term ‘unfit’ was one I associated almost exclusively with injury and match fitness. When your full-time job revolves around exercise, it’s easy to feel as though you’ll never have to worry about having a basic level of fitness. But when I left the game in 2010, I found myself having to reassess how I’d best stay fit.

I was determined not to ‘blow out’ like many of the blokes I’d played with, but it took some time for me to recalibrate my approach to exercise. Naturally, in retirement I wasn’t training at the intense level that I had been while at Carlton. Subsequently, my body began to process food differently.

Like everyone else, I struggle to find time to exercise, so I’ve had to rethink how I can work exercises into each day.

When I was playing AFL, various fats and sugars formed a significant part of my diet. In some ways, they were something my body relied on. But in retirement, sports drinks full of sugar were less inclined to refuel my body and more likely to lead to weight gain.

These days, I try to refrain from having anything with a substantial amount of sugar between Monday and Friday. When I was an AFL player, it wasn’t a change I thought I’d ever have to make, but it’s a healthy change that was necessary.

My approach to exercise has changed in retirement too. Like everyone else, I struggle to find time to exercise, so I’ve had to rethink how I can work exercises into each day. I’ve always taken my dogs to the park in the morning, but for a long while I didn’t think of it as a chance for me to exercise. I used to just wander around the park, but these days I run up and back, do push-ups, sit-ups or whatever else will help me get a sweat up – all while the dogs are doing some exercise of their own.

For a long time I thought of my lunch-break at work as just that: a lunch break. Now, even though I only have an hour in which to eat lunch and exercise, I feel I can do a valuable workout. If I complete a high intensity session, I can do enough to get a sweat up before heading back to the office.

Like everyone else, there have been times where I’ve thought ‘I just don’t have time to exercise.’ But for me, the key has been thinking outside the box and finding ways to utilise the time available to me. Just as my diet had to change, so too did my exercise habits, as a result of a change in my lifestyle.

The TeamUp 20 Day Challenge, which I’ll be taking part in from Sunday, is a great chance to form some more healthy habits.

To stay up to date on the TeamUp 20 Day Challenge, make sure you –

  • Download the TeamUp app at
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To learn more about TeamUp and the 20 Day Challenge, click here.