Free classes to keep fit, lose weight, gain friends and tackle existing health problems. Throughout Australia many councils and hospitals run free classes. These are varied and have something to suit everyone. From armchair exercises to invigorating circuit training, aqua aerobics, walking tours and sessions where those recovering from illness or surgery can meet to support one another.
I have chosen Mudgee in The Central West of NSW as an example of the physical and lifestyle programs on offer. You can check through the internet or in person at a council or the hospital physiotherapy department about courses currently running. Some change with the seasons. Most run once a week and vary in time from 1 to 4 hours. There is no limit on the number of programs you can enroll in. In Mudgee there are two aqua fitness programs. One class targets fitness and one is aqua physiotherapy. The later needs referral from a doctor or physiotherapist.
A Wellness group meets to talk about health, mobility, diet and measures to avoid falls. There is a guest speaker each week and afternoon tea is served. Stepping On, is a supported exercise group to help people who have had a fall or fear of falling. Mindfullness, is for people suffering from stress and helps with anxiety reduction. Tai Chi, is modified to help those suffering from arthritis or who have balance problems. There is a group for beginners and one for advanced.
Mudgee Moovers, is a monitored fitness and exercise program which incorporates walking and exercise. Healthy Eating & Active Lifestyle (HEAL), is a program to support people to develop healthy eating and physical activity habits. Wellbeing & Activities Program (WAAP) is a planned coordinated service for aged, frail and community members who would like to socialize in a supported environment. Carers and anyone in need of respite are encouraged to attend.
SUPPORT GROUPS cover Breast Cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Autism and Self Management and Recovery Training (S.M.A.R.T.). There are several walking programs and through these some people make group arrangements for additional walks throughout the week.
All programs offered by the hospital require a check by a nurse or physiotherapist to ensure there are no health concerns for the person enrolling. I joined in several classes and gained greatly from them. The benefits are diverse and I recommend you get involved. There is something for everyone and let’s face it there aren’t many free activities. Don’t make excuses, just give it a go.