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Getting Older - Get Moving For Your Life

While there are natural parts of the ageing process that cannot be prevented, we are seeing more research indicating that many areas of ageing can be reduced or delayed with regular physical activity.

As we continue to live longer and remain more active, the need for exercise to improve health and activity becomes more important, with people, quite rightly, not willing to give up the freedom that goes along with an active life.

Exercising in older age is not just a matter of reversing the ageing process, but also importantly about maintaining a level of health and physical activity that is not seen population wide. The effects of inactivity are well known. The reduction in everyday function and likelihood of lifestyle diseases accelerates over time. While the ageing process accounts for some of this decline, much of it can be attributed to long term inactivity.

You can’t out exercise old age, but through regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, you are more likely to be able to keep up an active life.

For older adults looking to enhance their health and wellbeing there are more and more options available, regardless of their physical activity levels, health or economic status.

An example is the LIVE STRONGER FOR LONGER programme. Established in 2017 as a collaboration between the ACC, Ministry of Health, DHB’s, and GPs, this programme supports independence and injury prevention for seniors and kaumatua. Improving strength and balance as we know is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of falls and fractures. The programme was developed using the Ministry of Health’s evidence based best practice criteria and research.

On Saturday 23rd November 2019, Sport Canterbury was awarded the prestigious NZ Register of Exercise professionals (REPs) Award at the NZ Exercise Industry Awards for their work with this programme.

REPs commented that as the lead agency for the Live Stronger for Longer programme in Canterbury, they have successfully enabled and supported exercise professionals and volunteers to deliver programmes and initiatives to achieve significant wins. They also commented that they have shown that a successful programme is the result of not just the top led initiative, but the leadership of the organisations and people that work one on one with the end user.

With over 150 classes weekly, 100 instructors across 40 providers, over 7000 Canterbury seniors from a range of ethnicities in city and rural settings have experienced the life enhancing benefits of this programme, these are true signs of success.

If you, or someone around you is looking at being well in age, then why not tell them that they can Live stronger for longer - with exercise!

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