IT’S great news for local over-50s as the Strength for Life exercise program re-launches at a number of locations across the MidCoast.
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Strength for Life is a program designed specifically for people over 50, involving progressive resistance training to improve strength, balance, coordination and endurance.
The program has been developed by COTA (Council on the Ageing) NSW and is provided across the MidCoast with support from Midcoast Assist, an ageing support service of MidCoast Council.
Local instructors have re-launched classes that were closed at the height of the pandemic, at Forster, Gloucester, Taree and Tea Gardens.
As part of the relaunch, a new class has also been introduced at Harrington.
All Strength for Life instructors are exercise professionals who undertake extra training with COTA NSW to be accredited with the program.
This training covers the needs of older people and how to work with different types of injuries and conditions.
“The beauty of the Strength for Life program is that it is specially designed for older people, and the instructors are sensitive to your needs,” said COTA NSW CEO Meagan Lawson.
“Keeping yourself moving and getting stronger helps you to stay independent and continue doing all the activities you enjoy.
“You’ll be better able to carry shopping and play with your grandchildren, as well as reducing the risk of falls and other injuries.’
Strength for Life Instructor Terri Tyson from Manning Leisure and Aquatic Centre at Taree says that our priorities shift to more functional exercise as we get older, and this is reflected in the program.
The classes can also become quite social occasions.
“Strength for Life creates relationships between participants and with dedicated trainers, and empowers older adults to be in control of their health and fitness with the guidance of a trainer who understands the needs of an aging population,” Terri said.
MidCoast Assist’s ‘Active and Older’ Team Leader, Christine Ellis says a focus on good health and staying active is key to on-going independence.
“The Strength for Life program is not only a terrific opportunity to undertake a regular exercise routine, it gets people out and about, meeting new people and trying new things.
“All our services revolve around supporting people to live active, social and independent lives in their own homes, and we are delighted to provide this innovative program in the local area,” she said.
Participants undertake an initial assessment to develop a program that is tailored to their needs, at a cost between $25-50.
From there, classes cost a maximum of $10 per session.