Each week tens of thousands of Aussies are committing to better heart health by putting one foot in front of the other.
In fact, up to 75,000 are stepping out across the nation thanks to the Heart Foundation’s hugely successful walking program.
Continuing to address falling activity rates as we hit our late 30s, the organisation has also joined forces with #Clubbies2020 to support the Best Masters Performance award.
General Manager of Heart Health, Bill Stavreski, said community-based clubs and groups are often best placed to address the need.
“The reason our retention rates are so high is people will generally come on for the exercise but will stay for the social benefits,” Mr Stavreski said.
“With our walking program it’s not only the safety and security that groups provide, but also the opportunity to connect with other people.
“Our walking program has been going for well over 20 years and some of our original walkers are still participating.”
A partner of the 2019 Australian Masters Games, the Foundation’s aim is to get Aussies of all ages up and moving. There are about 1200 walking groups around the country from mums with prams to beach walkers and hikers. The groups are free to join, set up and support is provided.
Mr Stavreski added: “Exercise is just as important for your health and wellbeing whether you’re 20 or in your 70s. Yes, you can’t do as much when you’re 70 as when you’re in your teens but that just means you exercise at a rate and a level that is commensurate to your ability and capacity.”
And he said age is no barrier to taking up sport. “In terms of the benefits of physical activity and wellbeing it’s never too late and even a little bit is better than nothing. If you can’t do 30 minutes you’ll still get benefits from doing 10 minutes a day.”