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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Don’t shut down in lockdown

Do you enjoy?

– looking after your grandchildren
– working in the garden
– staying active in the community
– having independence to go about your daily activities with energy left in reserve

Then, you will know that these all require us to maintain our fitness, strength and balance.

Don’t let your body shut down because of lockdown.

Many of us have not been able to carry out our usual “moving” activities, such as daily walks to the local shops or cafe, or attending local exercise classes. During lockdown though, we have been encouraged to see exercise as a daily priority, so many of us have been able to continue walking in some shape or form, whether it be around the neighbourhood, or along a favourite beach or bush walk.

Walking is undoubtedly great for our health – but unfortunately in most cases it isn’t enough to address the issues of declining strength, balance and overall physical capacity that occurs as we age. We all know that exercise is important as we get older, but with seemingly limited options over the past 12-months and less opportunities for incidental activity available, it has been challenging to incorporate exercise into our daily routine.

This is why a number of health organisations have joined forces to initiate the “Stay Strong to Stay Moving” campaign – which not only highlights the importance of strength training as we get older, but also aims to help us Australians in the over-50s community to work on maintaining muscle strength, concentrate on improving balance, as well as provide some practical solutions on how to getting started.

The organisations behind Stay Strong to Keep Moving Campaign include Arthritis NSW, Diabetes NSW & ACT, COTA NSW and the National Heart Foundation. They have brought to light their range of safe and effective, community based exercise programs.

Together these programs provide a variety of cost-effective ways for people in the 50 – 100 (plus) age range to make regular exercise, particularly strength and balance training, a part of our everyday life.

These programs include:
Beat it (Diabetes NSW & ACT), Living Longer Living Stronger (COTA NSW) and Strength and Balance (Arthritis NSW) programs are designed to be individualised to your needs through initial one-on-one assessments prior to entering the group.

Heart Foundation Walking is a structured walking program which helps people reach their 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity. This program includes the largest network of free community-based walks. People walk as part of a group, led by a local volunteer. Personal Walking Plans are also available if groups don’t suit.

All the programs are designed to:
– Encourage participation in aerobic and/or resistance exercise
– Promote sustainable behaviour change
– Improve your capacity to manage your health and/or specific chronic conditions
– Promote opportunities to socialize with other group members
– Be accessible and cost-effective
– Improve balance to help reduce the incidence of falls
– Help people stay independent for longer

Do you have hesitancy or concerns about which program is the right one for you?

Stay Strong to Keep Moving…

You can do one, all four, or any combination of these programs. Check out this link to the campaign webpage where you will can find out more information. Some programs have online delivery options available.

Importantly, all of these program will give you a chance to top up your physical activity levels and meet new people in the process.

Enjoy!

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