Heartmoves a healthy hit

HEALTHIER lifestyles for Manning Valley residents is the product of social connections developed through Greater Taree City Councils Healthy Communities programs.

Greater Taree City Council's Healthy Communities initiative has been coordinating a host of healthy lifestyle activities since it was awarded federal government ffunding back in 2011.

The initiative has seen activities at health and fitness centres, private practice, Hunter New England Health facilities, Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service, senior citizens centres, community halls and other community venues.

One of the more popular activities is the Heart Foundation's Heartmoves program which is delivered in Taree by the YMCA.

"Heartmoves attracts in excess of 70 participants on a weekly basis," said healthy communities coordinator, Daniel Lawton. "It offers a gentle physical activity program, suitable for anyone who hasn't done any exercise in a while.

Participants are able to exercise at their own pace in a friendly atmosphere.

Heartmoves is open to everyone and is designed to be safe for people with stable long term health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or obesity. Heartmoves is run by accredited exercise professionals specifically trained in managing safe, low to moderate intensity physical activity programs.

"Physical inactivity is a major health problem for Australia. More than half of Australian adults (54 per cent) are not sufficiently physically active to gain health benefits," continued Daniel.

"Physical inactivity costs the health budget an estimated $1.5bn a year, causing 16,000 premature deaths annually by increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer. Inactivity remains a critical factor in Australia's obesity epidemic.

"But with this terrific funding boost, we're now a step closer to helping more Manning Valley residents live a healthier, more active life. Our participants tell us that they join for health reasons but stay for social reasons. This has been one of the key successes with the council coordinated initiative," Daniel said.

For further information on council's healthy communities initiative or heartmoves, call 6592 5399 or email daniel.lawton@gtcc.nsw.gov.au

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