Canberra offers plenty of opportunities to become a healthier and happier you, and this week “CityNews” speaks with local experts who know how to get you there.
MAINTAINING health or going on a journey towards good health means different things to different people.
It could be managing a health condition, achieving some exercise goals, or even starting a new hobby or class to improve fitness.
Luckily, Canberra offers plenty of opportunities to become a healthier and happier you, and this week “CityNews” speaks with local experts who can help get you there.
Exercise options to suit all abilities
ARTHRITIS ACT CEO Rebecca Davey says it’s important to remain active at all ages, “to condition muscles that protect against injury”, and Arthritis ACT has solutions for people of varying abilities.
“We have Nordic Walking classes. We’re teaching people how to walk with poles, which is a great, low-impact aerobic activity for everyone.”
Rebecca says it’s also important to build strength in different areas of the body.
“We now run Pilates from both locations, Pearce and Bruce,” and, as an added benefit for Arthritis ACT members, “we have free, online exercise classes every week from Tuesday to Thursday.”
That’s only the start, Rebecca says, with Arthritis ACT also offering services such as exercise physiology, disability support and meal planning to help people in managing their pain.
“No question is too big or small for us,” she says.
Specialised gym sessions help kick fitness goals
NICHE Power Performance (NPP) is a gym that offers personalised sessions aimed at helping people achieve their fitness goals, says owner Tim Cornforth.
“Unlike other gyms, all our training is with a qualified and experienced coach, no walk-ins,” says Tim.
“Whether you’re an aspiring athlete or just want to get back into training, we welcome people of all levels and fitness abilities.”
With an experienced team of strength and conditioning coaches, Tim says NPP offers personal training, sports training, group sessions, mums’ and bubs’ groups, youth-mentor programs, motivational speaking and more.
“We need to change the way we view physical activity in order not to see it as something we ‘have to do’, ‘should do’ or ‘can do’ for our health, but as something that we do because we personally value its positive benefits to our overall wellbeing,” says Tim.
“The benefits we get from training or even just going for a walk is incredible and something we should be encouraging everyone to do.
“At NPP we’re excited to help with that and to build a community through healthy and meaningful ways.”
Personally tailored Pilates classes
OWNER of The Pilates Centre Canberra, Felicia Darbyshire-Pirie says she’s proud to provide Pilates classes that focus on each individual.
“We believe in quality over quantity,” says Felicia, a Pilates instructor of more than 15 years.
“Pilates is total body strengthening and conditioning, but it can also be rehab. To me it’s a combination of intuition and science that helps people achieve goals.
“It can be a super strong workout if that’s what you’re wanting, or it can be a recovery workout if that’s what you need.”
From two weeks post-spinal surgery all the way through to high-performing, advanced clients, Felicia says the centre welcomes anyone regardless of experience or fitness level. She believes a good instructor is what makes all the difference.
“We only hire really high-quality instructors with really good qualifications,” she says.
“We’re a host site for an internationally renowned teacher-training course and that’s something we’re very proud of.
“I like to say Pilates is the perfect training partner for everything, even life.”
Nick’s got the gear to get people running
THE Runners Shop carries a great range of shoes for running, walking or going to the gym, says owner and long-time runner Nick Walshe.
“Having a pair of well cushioned shoes is important – for all types of exercise, but especially for runners,” says Nick.
“This is because runners are often sending a force equivalent to around four times our body weight, which impacts on our knees, feet and lower back.
“Good cushioning in runners helps with injury prevention, especially when increasing your training. Running shoes are also designed to flex in a way that supports the motion of your foot when running – much more so than training shoes or casual shoes.
With a team of passionate staff all actively involved in running, Nick says customers can experience first hand knowledge of the products available.
“We take the time to make sure we help customers find the right pair of shoes – suitable for their feet and fitted correctly,” says Nick.
“Our shoe brands include Brooks, Hoka, Saucony, New Balance, Asics, Mizuno, On, Altra and Topo.
Nick says running can be incredibly beneficial not just physically, but also mentally.
“It’s a great way to relieve stress, and find some balance in our busy lives,” he says.
“Also, with the many running groups and events in Canberra these days, there is a social community side to running as well. And it’s surprisingly addictive!”
The Runners Shop, 76 Dundas Court, Phillip (call 6285 3508) and upstairs at 46-50 Hibberson Street, Gungahlin (call 6241 7054) or visit therunnersshop.com.au
Low-impact way to turbo-charge a walk
A NEW, scientifically studied exercise technique called Nordic Walking is more effective than jogging, but as gentle as walking, and is the perfect way to get in some regular exercise this year, says Capital Nordic Walking founder Kristen Pratt.
The technique, which keeps European cross-country skiers fit during their off season, uses specially designed poles that are planted behind the user to propel them along using the power of the upper body as well as the legs.
“It doubles the number of muscles being used and strengthened compared to walking and running, making it easy to get a high-intensity cardiovascular workout,” says Kristen.
“It strengthens arms, shoulders, back and core while also massively reducing strain on leg joints.”
Kristen says Nordic Walking is quickly growing in Canberra, beneficial to those who need some low-impact exercise and for those with a competitive spark.
“The great thing about Nordic walking is you don’t have to go very fast to get a good workout, but competitive Nordic walkers can get up to speeds similar to running,” she says.
“For people who like walking, it can turbo-charge your walk and for people who are really fit, like runners and crossfitters, it’s a really good cross activity to build muscle because it is so low impact.”
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