The right move with Farm Life Fitness

The right move with Farm Life Fitness


Louise O’Neill has transformed a profound personal lesson into a catalyst for positive change in the mental and physical wellbeing of farmers and their families across rural Australia.

As a qualified sports therapist and mental health coach, Louise has dedicated the past six years to empowering men and women in rural areas to reshape their mindset and challenge the unconventional norms prevalent in farming communities.

“There is this perception that farming is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week job, and I just don't think that is the way it should be,” says Louise.

Residing on a sheep farm in Denmark, Western Australia, with her husband Warren and their two young boys, Louise intimately understands the all-encompassing challenges of farming and has seen first hand the impact of mental illness on rural communities.

“Just because we choose to live rurally or work in agriculture does not mean we should miss out on much-needed services that focus on our mental and physical wellbeing, but unfortunately we do.

“Farming can be the best job and lifestyle in the world but it is getting increasingly difficult to sustain this lifestyle when there is a belief that if you take a break or step away, everything will fall to pieces.

“I have witnessed first hand what happens when that is the case. Not only have I seen my friends and community members mourn another life that's been lost because of these unhealthy paradigms and because people can't see a way out, but it happened very, very close to my heart. It happened to me and my husband.”

Determined to prevent others from experiencing such hardships, Louise established Farm Life Fitness in 2014, an award winning business dedicated to helping farming families and rural communities build a healthier, more sustainable future in agriculture.

Farm Life Fitness provides education, community building, one-on-one coaching, and online fitness programs available live and on demand.

The community membership is tailor-made by and for women immersed in the Australian farming lifestyle.

"Women in agriculture often prioritise their farm, work, family and community over their own needs, resulting in a loss of identity and a decline in confidence," says Louise.

“We are the only business that is offering live workouts in real time consistently throughout the week, as well as having a playback library of over 500 workouts. It’s more than just fitness. Women can build friendships and learn in a safe and understanding space.”

The business also plays a role in providing income to qualified fitness instructors who have had to cease work due to their geographical locations. As the business expands, Louise is looking to recruit a nutritionist and qualified fitness instructors to deliver daily 30 minute group fitness classes to its members.

The impact of Farm Life Fitness and its emphasis on the power of exercise and open dialogue in overcoming mental health struggles isn’t just improving the lives of women, it positively impacts everyone around them - and Louise would know.

“Wazza has totally changed his life. He is on medication for ADHD, anxiety and depression, but has taken on a very holistic approach to his mental health. He exercises every single day, he does mindfulness work, he talks about his feelings.

“He has also put the farm second. Most days, Wazza will be there to greet the boys home from school, and weekends are for family time not work.

“We don’t want the next generation to grow up thinking all there is in life is farming. We want them to love the life it gives but also know that social connectivity and their own mental and physical wellbeing is the most important thing they have.”


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