New health classes for older people

Greenwood Park resident Mollie Lane keeping her balance. Supplied photo.

Sport Bay Of Plenty has launched a new programme focused on supporting older people to live stronger for longer by reducing the risk of falls and fractures.

Keep on your Feet community strength and balance group classes are being provided across the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty, as part of the nationwide initiative.

Research shows that older people with muscle weakness, balance issues, or mobility limitations are 3-5 times more likely to fall in any one year than those without these problems. There is also evidence that community group strength and balance classes can reduce falls by 29 per cent.

Sport Bay of Plenty Project Leader Jen Riley says the classes involve simple but effective exercises to improve leg strength and also challenge participants balance in a fun and safe environment.

“Falling over and losing your strength and balance shouldn't be considered a natural part of ageing. Many falls are preventable through simple and effective strength and balance exercises.”

Tauranga's Greenwood Park Retirement Village residents Maxine Hunkin, Mollie Lane and Val Slattery have been regularly attending strength and balance class run by the YMCA.

Maxine says the classes have helped her keep on top of her health conditions, such as Type 1 Diabetes and Osteoporosis. 

Val Slattery says the classes keep her mobile. “It's better than sitting at home in an arm chair. Not only is it a great way to be active, but it's a great way to socialise with others and have a bit of fun.”

Classes are currently being offered in Kawerau, Ohope, Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, and Te Puke. 

For more information on classes visit www.sportbop.co.nz/keep-on-your-feet



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Looking back from Mount main beach. Photo: Alan Forward.

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