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AnglicareSA’s Healthy Hearts program is helping to keep our older customers active, strong, and on track to continue living happy and healthy lives.

With sessions held at our Playford and Westbourne Park Health and Wellness clinics each week, AnglicareSA Exercise Physiologist Amanda Harris said Healthy Hearts participants relished the opportunity to push themselves with every workout.

“Everyone who joins this program has a positive way of thinking about their health and exercise, which motivates other members of the group to achieve their exercise goals too,” Amanda said.

“I envy this group and want to be like them when I am older. They have the health and fitness you want at their age.”

The program, run in small groups of people aged over 65 years, is a circuit-based workout focused on strengthening cardiovascular health, endurance, and balance.

The higher tempo movement helps participants meet the levels of exercise recommended to manage medical conditions, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, in a supervised environment.

The most recent cycle of the program focused on new literature featured in the 2023 British Medical Journal about exercise (specifically isometric exercise) and hypertension with pre- and post-blood pressure readings of Healthy Hearts participants reflecting some of the theories.

Amanda said age did not have to be a barrier to how far older people could push themselves.

“Some people think that being older means they have reduced ability. But I’ve been working with older adults for a decade, and it never ceases to amaze me what level they can progress towards,” she said.

“This program is about determining what they can do safely and helping them improve their health and wellbeing.”

The success and results of Healthy Hearts is bolstered by introducing a new program of exercises every 12 weeks.

“By being able to keep the exercises fresh and fun with regular rotation, participants are engaging different muscle groups each time and enhancing their improvements and ongoing heart health,” she said.

It has proven to be an approach that attendees like Diane love about Healthy Hearts.

“I do this exercise program to improve my brain and body health and for relaxation. It’s all about keeping every part of my body as fit and healthy as it can be,” Diane said.

Despite her active lifestyle, a fall six years ago led to her being referred to AnglicareSA’s Health and Wellness Services.

“Doctors who assessed me after the fall didn’t think I needed to be referred elsewhere because they said I was doing enough exercise between walking and aqua aerobics, but I said I would like to do more to improve my overall health,” Diane said.

Diane now attends Healthy Hearts at AnglicareSA’s Playford clinic twice a week and said it had done wonders for her overall health.

“This exercise program is making my body stronger. I’m not strong like I was 20 years ago, but I can better catch myself from falling over,” Diane said.

“Exercise is integral to everything.”

Healthy Hearts is currently held at the Playford clinic on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9am, while sessions are held at Westbourne Park on Wednesdays at 9am.

To find out more about all of AnglicareSA’s Health and Wellness services across metropolitan Adelaide, click here.