Affordable exercise classes a 'game changer' for older Aussies

ESSA's Exercise Right for Active Ageing: discounted classes for seniors

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STRETCH AND SAVE: Only a quarter of Australians over 65 are meeting the national physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes activity per day, says ESSA.

STRETCH AND SAVE: Only a quarter of Australians over 65 are meeting the national physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes activity per day, says ESSA.

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Discounted exercise classes mean there's more reason to get moving for older Australians.

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A PROJECT offering affordable seniors' exercise classes have been described as a "game changer" for older Australians.

The more than 250 classes are being given by accredited exercise physiologists across the country every week, as part of the government-funded project delivered by Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA).

ESSA was given a $1.8million grant towards the Exercise Right for Active Ageing project. ESSA chief executive Anita Hobson-Powell said the initiative aims to deliver affordable, subsidised exercise classes for over-65s led by university-qualified professionals.

"This project will be a game changer in accelerating older Australians' understanding of the benefits of active ageing, and the role exercise plays in maintaining and improving their health and independence," she said.

ESSA was one of 27 organisations sharing in the $22.9 million invested in the Move it AUS - Better Ageing Grants with its key focus being to help inactive Australians aged 65 and older to move more often and become more socially connected.

Ms Hobson-Powell said only a quarter of Australians over 65 are meeting the national physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes activity per day.

The Exercise Right for Active Ageing classes are open to inactive older Australians over the age of 65 years (with a pre-screening assessment required to be completed prior to starting the classes).

Each class will be run by a university-qualified Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) or Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES) and will be delivered either at a physical facility or via an approved telehealth provider.

Therese was one of the first participants to complete the program, and said the classes helped to get her moving again after not having done any exercise for over six months.

"I just enjoyed being there," said Therese. "I enjoyed being with other women in my own age group. Everybody has been very friendly, and everything's been very laid back and easy."

There are currently more than 160 authorised providers delivering subsidised classes all around Australia, with new providers being added to this directory regularly.

Participants get a pre-exercise screening and assessment, 12 one-hour sessions and a post-assessment.

Classes cost $8 a session, plus an additional one-off payment for the pre-assessment. Prices for this vary (contact your local provider for more information).

To find an ERAA class near you click HERE.

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