ACTIVE AGEING: Making healthy normal in NSW
GET wet or stay dry, or do both at one of the 23 Staying Active centres throughout NSW which are offering activities specifically designed to get over 50s moving as part of their normal daily program.
Anyone, as long as they are reasonably active, can participate in the activities being offered under the program which is funded by NSW Health.
Aquatic and Recreational Institute executive officer Louise Magee said the Staying Active program activities range from aqua aerobics and water workouts to gentle exercise circuits and land-based circuit classes, walking groups and more.
"It depends on each facility and what they have access to in terms of their own facilities onsite," Ms Magee said.
In some cases, the centres will also run some classes down the road at the local hall.
"These classes are breaking down the barrier of the assimilated age group.
"They all love being in a group, among their peers rather than going to the gym and rocking up where there could be 20-somethings wearing their leotards and six-packs," Ms Magee said.
Men are actively encouraged to join in.
If they don't want to put on their Speedos and join the aqua aerobics, there is always other choices such as gym-based activities.
In several centres, the NSW Health's funding support staff training in conducting age-specific classes for seniors so they can offer exercises appropriate to a specific age group.
The Staying Active program also encourages centres to get social with events often held at least one a month.
"In a lot of cases they will get guest speakers, nutritionists, occupational therapists, people from beyondblue, just talking about the various issues that this generation are faced with," Ms Magee added.
The cost of participation varies across the centres.
The average cost is about $9 per class and seniors discount applies said Ms Magee.
All funded centres are encouraged to offer sustainable programs which can provide an ongoing revenue source for the centre and longevity of this healthy initiative.
Ms Magee reports since the program was started six months ago there has been an uptake in participation numbers across most centres showing over 50s want to good health to be a part of their lives.