York gym equipment getting good work out 

YORK Recreation Centre’s new gym equipment is getting gooduse from some enthusiastic locals keen for a healthier lifestyle.

They have enrolled in York’s Swap It, Don’t Stop It program and are aiming to learn some small,simple swaps to their daily routines that can make a big difference to theirlong-term health.

Some have joined a nutrition workshop where Northam Hospitalhealth promotion officer Sarah Dixon explains healthy eating habits atWednesday evening classes, held between 6.30 and 8.30pm until mid-December.

Sarah will explain how to eat healthily on a budget, how tointerpret food labels, how to make modifications to recipes as well asproviding a chance to prepare and share a healthy meal.

Others have signed up for gym circuit sessions led byexperienced personal trainer and youth development worker Lyn Kay.

Ms Kay said the York Recreation and Convention Centre’s newgym equipment had everything the participants needed to get fit.

“It’s got all the basic things you need – it’s great,” shesaid.

“I always do a variety of exercise and incorporate thingslike boxing, walking around the oval, circuit sessions and working withweights.”

Ms Kay said the age of participants ranged from about 20 to70 and she took into account their varying levels of fitness.

“I have them in different lines so I could work with themdifferently yet keep them all together,” she said.

Ms Kay’s 12-week program is split into six weeks of eveningsand six weeks of morning classes.

The night sessions started in October and finished early lastmonth.

Currently, the classes run from 6.30am to 7.30am.

They are free of charge and Ms Kay said there was plenty ofroom for more participants before classes finish today.

The classes have become so popular with the mature-agedparticipants Ms Kay said she had been asked to run a monthly class for seniorsfrom Quairading and York.

Both the nutrition and exercise programs are part of anational Swap It, Don’t Stop Itcampaign, funded by the Australian Government and administered by the HeartFoundation.

The campaign was launched in March last year with the aim ofproviding Australians with the tools and understanding to make simple swaps toimprove their health.

Its primary target group is adults, particularly those withchildren.

Heart Foundation senior project officer Lisa Wheatley saidthe Swap It, Don’t Stop It campaignencouraged people to consider small swaps involving nutrition and physicalactivity.

These could be incorporated into daily life and would havethe potential to help reduce the risk factors of chronic disease, she said.

Ms Kay’s exercise ‘swap it’ tips include swapping a casualstroll for a brisk walk.

“I explain it has to be a brisk walk to get your heart rateup,” she said. “And walk for at least half an hour.”

Another tip is to considering walking when only a shortjourney is involved.

“It’s so easy to jump into your car but you might only needto go 100 metres down the road,” she noted.

“Or take the bike. I’m encouraging kids to get on their bikesmore.”

Sarah Dixon said good nutrition ‘swap it’ advice includedswapping a pie at lunchtime for a sandwich.

“Or swapping full-fat milk for low-fat milk, swapping to wholemeal pasta and swapping fruit juice for fresh fruit,” she added.

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