One of the highlights of Sport Whanganui Green Prescription is sharing personal journeys with our clients.
As winter is now upon us, the colder weather means we wrap up warm and stay indoors for longer. Yet every month the Green Prescription team supports about 120 people to make staying active a priority.
The colder weather is certainly not a deterrent for Joyce Cate who enjoys being active pretty much all year round. With great enthusiasm, Joyce outlined her recipe for a healthy life, saying "eating well, regular exercise and keeping social makes all the difference".
Joyce shares her story and the impact her commitment has made on staying active and connected to the community. Joyce was referred to Green Prescription by the cardiac nurse after attending the Whanganui DHB Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme.
Joyce describes her journey:
"Green Prescription contacted me and booked an assessment. During my initial assessment I had a health check, we discussed my current health and lifestyle and appropriate physical activity options for me to do. On their advice I then joined the Breathe Easy class run by Sarah Whayman from Green Prescription held at Inspire Health and Fitness Centre.
"At the start of the year my back would hurt after five minutes of gardening. Included in Sarah's class were strength and balance exercises. I found that a combination of the Breathe Easy exercises, along with the ones from the cardiologist and pulmonary nurse, has helped to strengthen my back and breathing.
"I also looked at ideas to reduce my weight a little bit so I cut back on my bread. It was simply to eliminate some of the bread from my diet and it worked. It has been a slow but steady weight loss and I'm happy with that."
Meeting Joyce you can see instantly she is a champion with fabulous energy to stay motivated. At 84 years young, Joyce is now able to do a lot more gardening and continue her volunteer work at the library.
"I do about 20 minutes of exercises at home before breakfast to warm me up for the day. That helps a lot," Joyce says.
Joyce is motivated to continue her regular exercises as part of her weekly schedule.
Joyce describes her reasons for her confidence: "I have the tools to move forward independently and will continue to go to the gym classes, do my daily cardio and breathing exercises at home."
Maintaining muscle strength and mass helps to strengthen bones and restore balance, one of the most important factors in avoiding falls. It can help to reduce symptoms of some common ageing problems including arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain and depression.
Flexibility and muscle strengthening is an important part of our life to maintain fitness and balance. Introducing these exercises, even as an older adult, will help us to have a stronger, healthier ageing population. Flexibility will help you prevent everyday injury.
Sport Whanganui Green Prescription aims to help support individuals maintain their independence and stay healthy and well through access to our programmes: Breathe Easy, Club GOLD walking group, Kiwi Seniors in Marton, and assisting with other community based group strength and balance classes.
If you are looking for inspiration, visit https://sportwhanganui.co.nz/active-directory/