SHIRE OF MURRAY: Building a balanced body

Activities such as hot water yoga can improve older adults' balance and posture, strengthen muscles and bones and also improve overall fitness and general wellbeing. For class times visit www.murray.wa.gov.au or call 9531 7777.

Activities such as hot water yoga can improve older adults' balance and posture, strengthen muscles and bones and also improve overall fitness and general wellbeing. For class times visit www.murray.wa.gov.au or call 9531 7777.

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Injury Matters recently awarded the Shire of Murray a $2000 grant to help its older members stay on their feet with balance-focused chair yoga and warm water yoga classes.

Shire of Murray president Cr Maree Reid said Murray Leisure Centre currently offers aerobic sessions for the more active seniors, but this would provide additional options for those with limited mobility or who had difficulty balancing. 

“These classes will help increase flexibility, improve balance and posture, which reduces the risk of falls,” she said.

Chair yoga ran for six weeks and concludes on October 18 with Warm Water Yoga commencing October 25 and running through to November 29. Chair yoga postures can be modified to accommodate those with differing abilities, while warm water yoga classes in the hydrotherapy pool take the principles and movements of yoga and adapt them to water.

With the release of gravity, the body is able to find the optimum stretch. This round of Stay On Your Feet grants is part of the Build Your Balance campaign, which aims to improve older adults’ balance to reduce their risk of having a slip, trip or fall. 

Injury Prevention Manager Rachel Meade said building balance is one of the key ways for older adults to help protect themselves from a fall.

“One in every ten bed days spent in hospital by a person aged 65 and older in 2010-11 was directly attributable to a fall,” she said.

“We want people to know that falls are preventable, and that by keeping a healthy mind through activities and social groups, building your balance along with strengthening your legs and removing trip hazards from your home, people can avoid falls and stay independent.

“Other than the huge emotional and physical cost of a fall, which can be very painful and affect your independence, there is also a very significant financial cost to the WA community – falls cost about $2.2 billion per year in WA alone.”

Injury Matters coordinates Stay On Your Feet® which promotes keeping active and alert through the Move Improve Remove campaigns and preventing slips, trips and falls. Injury Matters aims to empower, influence and collaborate with the community to prevent injury and support recovery, because it believes all West Australians can live life uninterrupted by injury.

As part of Seniors Week from October 29 to November 5, Murray Leisure Centre will host a free information session about balance and falls, including free blood pressure testing and a light lunch on Wednesday, November 1 from 12.30-2pm.

Bookings are required.

  • For more information visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au or www.injurymatters.org.au
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