5 May 2017
The Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Penny Anderson
I recently had the privilege of supporting my uncle, aged 75 years old, in a Masters Games swimming festival. One of the events was a relay for teams with a cumulative age of 320 years (i.e. everyone needs to be about 80 years old). In my uncle’s team the men’s ages were 75, 78 and 80 years, plus the star of the group, Ossie, aged 91. Ossie could really swim, and the team came home with a Bronze medal!
For me, however, the real stars of the swimming were the Paralympic athletes. With a wide range of abilities, the athletes swam in specific races according to their ability. For one of the events, the Paralympic athlete was the last person in the pool by some margin. To support him to finish his lap, the entire stadium stood up and started clapping, cheering him on. At this end of his swim the applause, which almost brought the roof down, was the largest for any swimmer on the day.
Whilst most of us are not competitive athletes, physical activity and exercise have many positive benefits that contribute to our overall wellbeing. At Interchange Australia, we provide support to access physical activities for people across the age and disability spectrum.
Activities include supported access to hydrotherapy and swimming, going golfing or Ten-Pin Bowling with a group of peers, or walking in a group or with 1:1 support. This support may be funded through an NDIS plan (for those aged under 65 years) or through CHSP Social Support for those aged 65 years and above. For support to access the wide range of physical activities and exercise options available in our community, please contact an Interchange Australia consultant on 1300 112 334. We will work with you to develop a plan to enable you to participate in an activity of your choice.