COVID-19 has hit the fitness industry hard, with many a fitness program abandoned during the period of isolation.
Among those programs that have had to make changes to comply with physical distancing requirements is Strength for Life, a strength and fitness-based exercise program for older adults launched by Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT.
“This program is brand new to the ACT but it’s been running across Australia since the early 2000s,” said Strength for Life coordinator, Diane Percy.
Every participant has an assessment before joining the program, to determine their needs, before attending a group class and completing their own individual program.
“Depending on the needs of the participants, they might be doing to the program with an exercise physiologist or a physio … or personal trainers,” Ms Percy said.
“The exercise program is unique, but also that social interaction that people have in that environment is what keeps them coming, for sure.”
The program has had to move online for the time being, and Ms Percy and the Strength for Life team at Hughes have been offering free online sessions on Thursdays at 1pm via the COTA ACT Facebook page.
“The interest in the online sessions has been huge and because we do the live sessions from our COTA ACT Facebook page, the sessions are automatically recorded and stored as videos on the page,” said COTA ACT CEO Jenny Mobs.
“Anyone can go to our page to do the exercises anytime and continue to remain healthy and active while keeping safe at home during the pandemic.
“We have also started a Strength for Life – Move in May Facebook group primarily to keep in touch with our Strength for Life participants, but also for interested older adults in our community.
“We want to be sure that we retain confidence in our Strength for Life community, a community we have worked hard to build.”
Ms Mobbs said the Strength for Life program was identified by COTA nationally as “important for all older people, not just those in particular states”, and a great way to connect with people across all areas of Canberra.
“We’re really excited; I think we’ve now got enough to keep it going in the ACT forever and a day,” she said.
For more information on Strength for Life, visit the COTA ACT website.