Don’t be a fool this April: HOPP to keep active

Women participate in the HOPP flash mob in Auburn.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is encouraging older people to keep active this month by doing a few simple strength and balance exercises.

April is a great opportunity for older people to sign-up to the district’s popular Healthy Older People Partnership (HOPP) program, ahead of the winter chill.

Dozens of HOPP partners came together in Auburn Central Forecourt on April 20 to show off their moves, as part of the Health Active Ageing Expo.

Nearly 100 people staged a surprise exercise session in the forecourt, joining forces to demonstrate strength and balance exercises, such as heel raises, half squats and knee lifts, to help older people keep healthy, active and living independently in their own home.

WSLHD Centre for Population Health deputy director Christine Newman said there was strong evidence showing improving strength and balance helps older people stay healthier for longer.

“We have a partnership with more than 35 organisations in HOPP, who deliver strength and balance programs in the community and provide an opportunity for older people to master a series of exercises, which they can then start doing every day,” she said.

“All the exercises are designed by health specialists and are ideal to ensure older people have good strength and balance and stay active.

“Our older generation will double over the next decade – and we know one of the biggest risks to their health is losing muscle mass. This process begins at mid-life, so it’s important for people to exercise throughout their life; strength and balance is vital to good health.”

HOPP partner Auburn Diversity Services community services manager Jennifer Yuan said the program was promoting healthy ageing.

“The resources and health programs provided by HOPP can be tailored to suit the needs of different individuals,” she said.

“Most importantly the information motivates older people to be more active and stay healthy.”

For more information on HOPP, contact HOPP co-ordinator Trish Nove on 9840 3630.

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