Tararua rest homes and community groups are being invited to take part in a nation-wide competition that could win them 12 months free access to specialist fitness providers SuperCue Seniors' online fitness programmes and tutorials.
SuperCue co-founder and director Rebekah Charlton, of Dannevirke, says more and more retirement villages and rest homes are restricting access due to health and safety measures and many residents are stuck inside, more than ever before.
"It's so important that seniors have access to alternative fitness options to keep them strong and prevent falls, which are a major cause of hospitalisation and physical decline.
"SuperCue allows them to keep themselves moving, while enjoying the support of the SuperCue team and the socialisation of an online community."
SuperCue Seniors is the brainchild of fitness instructor Charlton and her business partner, corrective exercise specialist Marya Hopman.
"Even before the April lockdown we recognised that for many seniors it was difficult to access community fitness classes," says Charlton.
"Challenges included things like location, transport, budget or mobility. And with the increasing threat of future lockdowns or simply the fear of Covid-19 exposure, the need is growing."
Charlton and Hopman found that although there were plenty of online fitness programmes available, few cater specifically for seniors and provide options for all mobility levels; seated, standing and active.
"Our big point of difference is education," says Hopman.
"Getting people moving is not enough. We need to be teaching them how to stand, sit, walk and generally move well because most of us are terrible at this. That's why our video and written tutorials, and movement cues are so important – and is often what's missing in other programmes."
SuperCue Seniors released its first workout online in October and followed this with a DVD in June. It has plans for a comprehensive service of posture and exercise technique tutorials and resources, rehabilitation programmes for post-hip, knee or shoulder surgery, and workouts for populations with other specific demands.
"With SuperCue we're aiming to raise the level of challenge and stimulation because our seniors are capable of a lot more than they realise," says Hopman.
"While it's important to keep them safe and avoid injury, it's not helpful to mollycoddle them. This will only lead to slow degeneration. We want them to discover just how much they can still do and be excited and stimulated to be more active."
Charlton has worked in the fitness industry for more than 25 years, with the past 10 years dedicated to designing, choreographing and teaching classes for over 65s.
She has also worked in other roles in this sector including Active Living and Wellness Coach for MidCentral Health and project lead for the ACC Live Stronger for Longer project for Enliven across Hawke's Bay and Gisborne regions.
Hopman is a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist who has worked in the fitness industry for more than 10 years.
Recognising the need for better fitness options and support for seniors, and the organisations and instructors delivering fitness to this segment of the population, they formed Club SuperCue late 2018.
They continue to build their exercise and tutorial library online and on DVD and have extensive plans for a comprehensive service in seniors' fitness.
Offering to underwrite the cost of a fitness programme for an entire year is SuperCue's way of giving something back to the seniors in our communities - those who have had it the roughest over recent months.
One winner will be drawn to personally receive $200, a 12-month subscription to SuperCue and a SuperCue DVD. But their main prize is to nominate their preferred seniors' organisation and every member or resident will receive a 12-month membership to SuperCue Seniors.
Individuals or groups of any age or fitness level are invited to enter the competition by sending in a video of themselves following the SuperCue Seniors balance track Ronda Alla Turque, and either post on the SuperCue Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/supercue.nz , or email through the link email@example.com.
"The more colourful and creative the video the better," says Charlton.
To enter, go to the SuperCue website www.supercue.nz to access the competition track and send in your entry by September 29.