Elderly told to shape up for future

BONES will not be the only thing groaning after older Australians have been told to get on their feet for at least 30 minutes every day to improve their quality of life.

For the first time the Department of Health and Ageing has released physical activity recommendations specifically designed for older Australians to prepare our rapidly ageing population for the years ahead.

Even vacuuming has made the list of recommended exercise routines but Ipswich resident Glenda Petie likes things to be a little more up-tempo.

The 67-year-old has been doing aqua-aerobics at the Bundamba Swim Centre for a couple of years after a back injury took her off her feet and into the pool.

“I love it,” Mrs Petie said.

“I have lost weight, I am more energetic and fitter.”

Mrs Petie walks 5km everyday or kicks her feet up in the pool.

She said the low impact training has increased flexibility and strength.

“I could not walk on the road before I started this because of my back,” she said.

“It has really helped with my road walking.”

Aqua-aerobics instructor Sharon Sanders said it was vital people in their sixties maintained their fitness and her water-based classes were a good introduction.

“For people who are no good on the land anymore, especially the over-sixties, this is where you need to be,” Ms Sanders said.

“It is low impact and great on your joints.”

Health Minister Justine Elliot said older Australians should do some form of physical activity no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities.

“The aim of the recommendations is to raise awareness of older Australians' special physical activity needs such as balance, mobility and strength,” Mrs Elliot said.

• To receive a copy of the Choose Health: Be Active booklet call 1800 500 853.

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