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26 March, 2022

Free exercise program to boost women’s health

LOCAL Tablelands women have taken their health into their own hands, enrolling in a free special tailored exercise program helping them to better manage their health in the future.

By Rhys Thomas

Nearly 40 women have registered for the new Rural Active Women’s Exercise Program.

The Rural Active Women’s Exercise Program comes off of the success of the Atherton Men’s Shed Physical Activity Program and just like its predecessor, will run for 16 weeks. 

After seeing the success of the men’s shed program, Tableland locals approached Tablelands Regional Council for an exercise program targeted at women aged 65 and over. 

Council then secured a $10,000 grant from Investing in Queensland Women to run the free program with the help of Mamu Health Service Limited, Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Primary Health Care Service and FNQ Health and Fitness. 

“The program aims to increase participation in physical activity among women in this 60 plus age group to contribute to their overall health and wellbeing,” Cr Annette Haydon said. 

“We hope it will create a pattern of ongoing positive behaviour and healthy exercise habits. 

“It is open to all levels of health, ability, experience, skill and social and economic levels.” 

The Men’s Shed program gained national attention after its launch, being named the Best New Men’s Health Initiative at the 2021 Men’s Health Awards. 

Carla Barletta, a physiologist from FNQ Health and Fitness recently spent a morning conducting pre-assessments for all registered clients of the Rural Active Women’s exercise program. 

Just like the Men’s Shed program, the Rural Active Women’s program is specifically tailored to each participant with a focus of flexibility and fun. 

Ms Barletta estimated that there are around 40 women registered for the program over the two locations in Malanda and Ravenshoe but unlike the Men’s Shed program, they do not have equipment on site to use. 

“We definitely structured this program off the same planning and everything as the Men’s Shed program – the only difference is the location,” she said. 

“For the men’s shed we did it at the exercise park in Atherton, this one here will be here at Ravenshoe and Malanda. “We don’t have any equipment as such so I will be bringing some tools to specifically design the program for women. 

“It will include resistance type training, weight bearing exercises, balance and fall prevention activities so I can really tailor it to women over 65.”

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