Strength for Life fitness program rolling out across Mid Coast

Local Strength for Life trainers: Terri Tyson, YMCA; Ricki-Lee Barnett, YMCA; Michelle Gunn, Pure NRG; Lynn Guilhaus, Tea Gardens Cross Fit; Vanessa Lima Sarmento, YMCA; Steph Trott, YMCA; Clare Wilson, YMCA. Photo supplied.
Local Strength for Life trainers: Terri Tyson, YMCA; Ricki-Lee Barnett, YMCA; Michelle Gunn, Pure NRG; Lynn Guilhaus, Tea Gardens Cross Fit; Vanessa Lima Sarmento, YMCA; Steph Trott, YMCA; Clare Wilson, YMCA. Photo supplied.

COTA NSW (Council on the Ageing NSW) and MidCoast Assist have partnered to launch an innovative new exercise program, Strength for Life, designed specifically for people over 50.

Strength for Life is an affordable strength and balance program that aims to improve strength, balance, coordination and endurance through regular resistance training.

Developed and run by COTA NSW, it complements MidCoast Assist's mission to help older MidCoast residents live active and independent lives in their own homes.

The exercise classes will be provided by local exercise professionals who have completed specialised training to be accredited as a Strength for Life instructor. Participants will undertake an initial assessment where a program tailored to their needs is developed, at a cost that ranges from $30 - $50. From there, participants can attend exercise classes throughout the week, at a maximum cost of $10 per session.

Improving strength helps older people stay independent.

"Improving strength helps older people stay independent," said COTA NSW CEO Meagan Lawson.

"Being stronger means you can carry your shopping, climb stairs and play with your grandkids. You can keep doing the things you want to do."

And it's no secret that strength training brings a range of health benefits.

"Our muscle mass declines as we get older, unless we do something about it", Meagan added.

"The Strength for Life program can help improve bone and muscle and slow down wear and tear. It can speed up metabolism which may help maintain a healthier body, and it can reduce the chance of injuring yourself because you are stronger and have better balance".

Accredited trainers ensure that everyone feels comfortable, even if they haven't been to an exercise class before. As well as understanding the issues and conditions that are more likely to affect older people, they arm participants with a program tailored to their individual needs.

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."

The program will begin to rollout during February in four participating venues:

  • Forster: Great Lakes Aquatic and Leisure Centre, 6591 7199 or admin.greatlakes@ymcansw.org.au
  • Gloucester: Pure NRG, Michelle Gunn, 0438 636 377 or michellegunn2305@gmail.com
  • Taree: Manning Aquatic Leisure Centre, 6550 0500 or manning@ymcansw.org.au
  • Tea Gardens: Cross Fit, Lynn Guilhaus, 0400 404 044 or lguilhaus@bigpond.com

Contact your nearest venue directly for more information about class timetables, frequency and costs, and to book your initial one-one-one assessment.

MidCoast Assist is an ageing support service of MidCoast Council. Visit www.midcoastassist.com.au to find out more.

For more information about Strength for Life, contact Kamilla Haufort on 8268 9602 or email Kamilla.haufort@cotansw.com.au.