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Staying Active as you age

Australians are living a lot longer than ever before, and an increasing amount of older people have an interest to stay fit and healthy.

With the fitness industry driven towards more young people, it seems it can be a struggle to find options for seniors.

Owner of Fit 4 All Gym in Penrith, Milton Karavas, told the Weekender there are reasons why seniors stay away from gyms. “The sad thing is the industry is so image driven that it can be extremely intimidating for a senior and, to be honest, most of the facilities in our area are just not conducive to the seniors demographics,” Mr Karavas said.

“Coupled with the fact that our industry has such a bad reputation when it comes to contracts and joining fees and quite frankly ridiculous pricing, this can turn

them away.”

Mr Karavas is encouraging people over 60 to find a facility such as his that caters to their needs to stay active. “We are a family business in the area for 16 years that is user friendly for everyone, has experienced and educated trainers, and classes that are tailored to certain demographics,” he said.

“We also have a discounted senior membership of just $25 a month with no joining fee or contract, and we don’t put the members on direct debit unless they want as they seem to prefer to pay in cash.”

World Gym also offers senior rates and has trainers who specialise in older adults while Penrith YMCA run a program for seniors who are 55 and older.

Dee Upton, Active Ageing Senior Project Officer from NSW Health, suggests seniors look at the NSW Active and Healthy website for local options.

“It is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to assist older adults and health professionals to find evidence-based physical activity and fall prevention programs across NSW,” she said.

“One of the programs listed for Penrith is Stepping On, a free seven-week fall prevention program for adults over the age of 65 years, supported by NSW Health.”

The University of The Third Age also has a fitness program for those over 50, while the free Live Life Get Active classes are all ages but tailored to any skill level and ability.

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