Mind

EXCLUSIVE: The important reason Michelle Bridges has a screen time quota in her household

''I don't want my son always remembering me sitting on the phone.''

By Alex Lilly
When it comes to screen time, it's tricky for parents to make sure their kids aren't overdoing it.
But Michelle Bridges is making sure that her three-year old son Axel doesn't grow up staring at a phone.
"It's not like I'm depriving them of what the reality is of living in the year of 2019 and beyond," the fitness guru told Now To Love in an exclusive interview.
"Certainly these apparatuses are in our lives and they're great, but there's a place for them and it's not a place that's one hundred per cent of your world and it won't be in our family.
"No judgement on anyone, this is just how I'm going to roll."
As an ambassador for Exercise Your Mood Week (4-12 May), Michelle has teamed up with the Black Dog Institute to urge people to get moving and get outside, as just one hour of physical activity a week has been scientifically proven to boost our mental health.
While the former Biggest Loser trainer admits that technology has its benefits, she is all about getting back to nature and enjoying family time screen-free.
"I don't want my son always remembering me sitting on the phone," she said.
"He's all but three years of age and there have been times when he's gone 'Mummy, get off the phone!' and I'm like 'Oh my goodness, I'm mortified that my three year-old said that to me,' because that's not anything I would've ever said as a three year-old to my mum, I don't know what I would've said by then. Regardless, he's watching me and what I'm doing."
"There have been times when he's gone 'Mummy, get off the phone!'" (Image: Instagram @mishbridges)
For Michelle herself, exercise has been her rock for almost her entire life and she soon realised its positive effect on her mind as well as her body.
"In my world, in my family, there have been deaths, births, divorce, all sorts of tragedy and not just me personally, but certainly in my family. We've all come together and you have to deal with it somehow and sometimes for me dealing with it has been just needing to go for a run or needing to go for a walk and it's been a great way to heal, soothe, subside and dial down that upset and trauma.
"Definitely when I became a mum, my exercise was all over the shop and I could feel myself losing that and thinking somehow I've got to find a pattern back for me. I've been there as well. I don't think those emotional human feelings are subject to any one particular person, we all across the board feel them at some point in our lives."
WATCH: Michelle Bridges works out with baby Axel. Post continues...
Along with her partner Steve 'Commando' Willis, Michelle is all about talking openly about mental health and not suffering in silence.
"It's not like we talk about it ad nauseam every single day at the dinner table, but it's certainly something we are very mindful of and very much in check with," she explains.
"We ask how one or the other is feeling, what's going on and whether we need to give them space or more support or whether we just need to go for a workout or grab a soccer ball and go to the park with the kids and kick that around and that will be most definitely be something that we pass on to our children."
Michelle and her partner Steve Willis are vocal advocates of the benefits of exercise for physical and mental health. (Image: Instagram @mishbridges)
With one in five Australians suffering from some kind of mental health issue, Michelle says it's important to remember that no one is immune and it can strike when you least expect it.
"If that's not you, I guarantee that will be someone that you know, whether it's a family member or a friend. And if you went deep inside yourself, you'd probably know who that is."
The fitness icon also adds that helping someone in need can be as simple as taking a five minute stroll in the sunshine.
"Everybody thinks that I'm going to start prescribing burpees and sprint sessions - and I'm all for that too - but I also live in the world of realistic environments.
"It's not about going to the gym and doing an all-out CrossFit session for an hour and a half or running a half marathon. It's about reaching out to people and offering a solution for feeling in that dark place and it's a five, ten minute solution."
Now that is something we can get behind!
Just getting outside for a short walk can make a huge difference. (Image: Instagram @mishbridges)