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Healthy and Active for Life Online

District offers virtual healthy living and exercise program.

Woman at home doing exercises in front of a computer
SydneyConnect Image: Judy Deguara

Judy Deguara is now better equipped to lead an active and healthy life.

“I’ve improved my physical and mental health and wellbeing,” she said from her home in Marrickville.

Judy, 71, has participated in a free, virtual healthy lifestyle and exercise program for older people, offered by Sydney Local Health District and NSW Health.

The Healthy and Active for Life Online program aims to build participants’ fitness, and their knowledge, skills and confidence to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The 10-week self-paced program includes an exercise circuit – with participants able to download instructional exercise videos and a log book to keep track of their progress.

There’s also modules about goal setting, healthy meals and serving sizes; sugar, salt, fat, calcium and vitamin D; fibre and incontinence; oral health and vision; aged care, falls prevention, recipes and food safety.

And, each week participants receive tailored support from a health coach over the phone.

Judy accessed the online program via her computer in her home office.

“It was a comprehensive program. The videos clearly demonstrated how to do each exercise and I was able to keep a record of what I did each day,” she said.

When Judy’s asthma flared up partway through the program, she temporarily modified her exercise regime. Conversations with her phone coach kept her motivated.

“I just have to move. Exercise is so important,” she said.

She also benefited from learning about a new approach to goal setting.

“It was simple yet led to a more specific focus. And, my phone coach guided me through my setbacks and helped me to maintain momentum,” she said.

And, she enhanced her knowledge about healthy eating.

“I’ve changed my diet to include more serves of dairy, to boost my calcium intake, and fruit as I now have a deeper understanding of healthy eating,” she said.

The Healthy and Active for Life Online program is for people over 60 years of age (or 45 years of age for Aboriginal people) in NSW who are sedentary and not already enrolled in other group programs. It's part of NSW Health's "Active and Healthy" strategy.

The program is held four times a year and starts at the beginning of each school term. The next program set to run from 12 July 2021. To register, please click here.

Participants who have a pre-existing medical condition may require clearance from their GP.

For more information about the Healthy and Active for Life Online program in Sydney Local Health District, please contact the Active Ageing Team on 9515 9063.