Beef fillet with coriander salsa.

Beef fillet with coriander salsa.

Being constantly hassled by me about doing more exercise probably becomes just a little bit tedious after a while. I can almost hear the moans on Sunday mornings as you curl up with your paper and a latte. "She's at it again. Does this woman ever stop? What is wrong with her?"

Well, snuggle down between the sheets a bit more because I'm going to tell you about the exercises you never have to do. Ever. Again. And that's because they're pretty much useless and a waste of good leisure time.

First, please don't do crunches. They're not effective. You'll get a similar result lying on a beach or cutting your toenails. Sit-ups aren't the dream shortcut to abs like corrugated iron, either. Instead, try the bicycle manoeuvre (Google it if you're unsure) or, even better, walking past the ice-cream stand on your way to a dip in the surf.

"You scurrilously misinformed your body by launching into the diet to end all diets" … Michelle Bridges.

Michelle Bridges. Photo: Ellis Parinder

If you like walking then the only things you need to hold in your hands are your house keys and the bus fare home (in case you split your lycra tights). Carrying hand weights and doing upper body exercises while you're walking is not only a waste of time but it also makes you look like you're mildly deranged at best, and if you're raising your hands above your head, totally bonkers. If you really want to get more out of your morning walk, add a few bursts of hard power-walking or some jogging.

There is a curious piece of equipment in gyms called an abductor or adductor machine, where you push weights together or apart with your thighs. It looks like a prop from a porn film and was immortalised when the late Princess Diana was photographed using it in a health club.

This machine doesn't work because it isolates individual muscles rather than recruiting lots of them to work together. Women love it because they think it will make their thighs trimmer. Put simply, it won't. So when you are doing your walking lunges (which are great), make sure you go straight past this piece of equipment. And try not to stare at anyone using it.

Oh, and years ago we used to do jumping jacks and upper body twists with a broomstick held across our shoulders. Let me put these exercises into context - we were doing them last century.


If you can't feel the relevant muscles working when you perform an exercise, check your form first, then check the exercise.

Visit Michelle's site at




Quality over quantity is always my rule with beef. Add this amazing Cajun-style salsa to a great cut of meat and you will be hailed as a master chef. This is food the whole family can enjoy, and it’s very easy to make. For hungry children and partners, add some brown rice or sweet potato.


1 corn cob
2 tomatoes, diced
1 small cucumber, diced
1 small green capsicum, diced
½ cup coriander leaves
2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp extra virgin
olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
cracked black pepper
2 × 140g beef fillets
1 tbsp Cajun spice mix
olive oil spray

Cook the corn in a saucepan of salted boiling water for about 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and cut into 4 chunks.

To make the salsa, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, coriander, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a bowl. Season with pepper and toss to coat.

Sprinkle the steaks with the spice mix. Spray a non-stick frying pan with the oil and heat on high. Once hot, cook the steaks for 1-2 minutes each side. Serve with the salsa and corn.

Tip: If you like your meat rare, take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking so the centre isn’t cold. Well-done steaks take longer to cook so there
is no need to take them out early.