A brand new strength and balance class for older adults has launched in Eastern Bay of Plenty as part of a Sport Bay of Plenty initiative.
Keep on your Feet is about creating access to approved community group strength and balance classes across the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty.
The class is part of a nation-wide drive to reduce falls and fractures, improve movement confidence and support older people to ‘live stronger for longer'.
Five brand new classes have been created in Western Bay of Plenty, and now Eastern Bay of Plenty is getting its first class in Ohope.
This is the first of many classes, says Project Leader Jen Riley, as the aim is to start up further classes in Whakatane, Opotiki and Kawerau in order to improve access for the community to these much-needed group exercise sessions.
Jen says the classes Sport Bay of Plenty is helping to co-ordinate, will involve simple but effective exercises that will 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 and many falls are preventable through simple and effective strength and balance exercises.
“In actual fact, improving your strength and balance is considered to be one of the most modifiable risk factor with regards to having a fall.”
Falls cause around 40 per cent of ACC claims for people aged between 65 and 69 years, and around 60 per cent of those claims are for those aged over 85.
“The severity of fall-related injuries increases with age,” says Jen, “which is why it is important to maintain good leg and core strength as we get older to help us live stronger for longer and maintain our independence.”
Keep on your Feet takes place each Thursday at St Nicholas Church, Pohutukawa Avenue, Ohope. Classes are held each week from 10.45am to 11.45am.
For more information contact Jane Miskell of Ohope Fitness and Wellbeing on 027 412 4396 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep on your Feet is also looking for instructors. If you are interested in offering a strength and balance class in your community, or you would like to be trained up as a strength and balance instructor get in touch with Jen Riley, Keep on your Feet Project Leader, on 027 419 0067 or email email@example.com