'Movement for Life': Seniors encouraged to get active
OLDER Australians are being encouraged to put their best foot forward after the Federal Government announced a major boost into keeping seniors fit and firing.
Nearly 30 organisations will share in around $23 million invested into the Move It Aus Better Ageing grants - a program designed to help people aged 65 and over "become more physically active and socially connected".
Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie said the financial boost was a "really important step" in helping older Australians stay at their active best.
"No matter what your age and no matter what your stage, we're encouraging all Australians to embrace the philosophy of 'Movement for Life'," Minister McKenzie said.
Minister McKenzie, along with Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt, announced the first grant recipients at Inglewood United Soccer Club in Perth.
As part of Football Federation Australia's Better Ageing Grant, the Inglewood club will develop a small-sided version of football specifically modified for older Australians.
"The strong demand for Better Ageing grants shows us that organisations are ready and willing to help older Aussies adopt a healthier lifestyle," Minister McKenzie said.
"Physical activity for over 65s is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The successful organisations will provide a wide range of opportunities, from simple exercise classes in our remote communities through to modified programs in traditional sports such as golf and netball.
"It is fantastic that today I am able to let these successful providers know we're ready to help them deliver a diverse range of programs to support older Australians."
Minister Wyatt said the actives on offer from the participating organisations should boost the numbers of active seniors.
Currently only 25 per cent of Australians over 65 meet the Department of Health physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes activity per day.
"These exciting and engaging activities are about giving us more choices for a longer life, as increasing numbers of Australians live to 100 and beyond," Minister Wyatt said.
"Getting out and about through innovative new sports will help us score healthier, happier futures.
"Studies show sport is fun with serious benefits including better heart health and weight control, while it reduces the progression of chronic diseases and the risk of falls.
"Sport's social connections mean it strengthens not only our bodies but our minds, and helps guard against loneliness in our later years."