There is no debating that regular physical activity, at any age improves your health and well-being. NSW Health (www.health.nsw.gov.au) points to research that proves any exercise is worth the effort and is more important the older we get.
They advise that as well as keeping you fit and independent longer, regular exercise assists greatly in preventing chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Physical activity also has a role to play with mental health and is known to reduce stress, anxiety and depression as well as improving concentration and confidence.
A local group, who call themselves the Nambucca Valley Vets, need no convincing of the benefits of exercise. They get together as often as four times a week in the interest of staying fit and healthy. A spokesman for the group says the group began five years ago by following the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Heart Health Program that runs for 52 weeks.
Although DVA support for the program has diminished, the group decided to keep going in the interest of their own physical and mental well-being. As well as conducting this regular exercise the group will often get together afterwards over a coffee and enjoy each others company. It is a great way to stay in touch and to ‘look out’ for each other. There is always some healthy banter and if laughter is the best medicine then they are in good shape indeed.
Mondays and Wednesdays at 9am, the group meets at the Valley Gym, Nambucca Heads. Tuesdays at 9am, they meet at the Nambucca Heads RSL Club carpark, then walk along the picturesque board walk and on Thursday at 9am, they meet in front of the Ocean View Hotel, Urunga for a walk.
If you would like to join this group for a walk or a workout just show up at the above-mentioned times and places and say g’day. You might be surprised how good you will begin to feel.
About the author: Mick Birtles is a recently retired army officer now living in Nambucca Heads. During his 36-year career, Birtles served in Bougainville, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for command and leadership. Here he shares his interest in the issues effecting veterans on the Mid North Coast.
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