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An Active Relaxer

Kane Brisco of Farm Fit

South Taranaki boy Kane Brisco is the founder of Farm Fit, a great resource for physical workout programmes and mindset tools for people within the rural community. When Kane was younger, he spent his holidays helping out on his uncle’s farm where he developed his love for farming. Over the years, Kane has worked as a dry stock farmer, a dairy farmer and he’s now in his ninth season as a 50/50 sharemilker.

Sport has always been a huge part of Kane’s life, predominantly boxing, rugby and running. Exercise got him through tough times on-farm and in life in general. The main challenges that Kane faced were financial pressures and an overload of work; trying to balance being a father, husband and farmer. Kane started Farm Fit to encourage others to do something that’s good for the body as well as the mind. He created an at-home gym for those who lived locally, later developing online programmes for everyone else.

“Prioritising yourself prioritises everything around you as well. As farmers, we tend to put everything about the farm first. Whereas if we spend a bit of time working on ourselves, it flows into everything else,” Kane said.

Kane is in the process of writing a book and is working with a couple of charities on mental health fundraising drives next year. Inspiration and education are the main drivers of his work with Farm Fit. “I just want to keep helping. I get joy in teaching people and passing on lessons that I've learned. If I can spark something in someone, that means the world to me,” Kane said.

Along with farming and Farm Fit, Kane likes to reconnect with nature and go on hikes, running, hunting and going to the beach. Anything that gets him outdoors and off the farm.

“Something that people tend to overlook is that mental and physical fitness are so intertwined, you can't have one without the other. You can't expect to have good mental health if you're not moving your body and feeding it the right stuff. It needs support from the physical things you do,” Kane said.

Kane is a big advocate of vulnerability and finds importance in staying connected with others in the rural community. There is an increasing amount of mental health awareness in New Zealand but Kane mentioned that the focus, as an individual, should be about raising self-awareness. “We’re defined as human beings by the habits we perform everyday. Getting a good foundation by consuming enough water, eating a healthy diet, moving your body to release those good hormones and regulate your stress. Being aware and asking yourself every day where you’re at on a scale of zero to 10 in terms of your physical and mental health,” Kane said.

“Having an idea of where you're at and what's stressing you out in your day can help you focus on the right things. There’s no point in focussing on your diet if your diet is already good. You need to find your weak points and work on them.”