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Using exercise as medicine at new Lake Cathie foreshore gym

The health and fitness of Lake Cathie residents will get a welcome boost thanks to new intergenerational exercise equipment.

Healthy North Coast, through the Commonwealth-funded North Coast PHN program, and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council have jointly funded a specialised outdoor gym that has just been installed at Lake Cathie Foreshore Reserve.

The Lake Cathie community is part of Healthy North Coast's Healthy Towns initiative. Healthy Towns works in partnership with communities to identify and address local health and wellbeing needs. Through the Healthy Towns program consultation, the Lake Cathie community identified that healthy living and ageing was a key priority.

"Our engagement with the community highlighted a lack of exercise facilities in Lake Cathie, particularly facilities suited to older people," said Healthy North Coast's Director for Healthy Communities, Sarah Robin.

"We also identified the need for intergenerational connection, which this equipment will help to achieve as it's a perfect place for children and grandparents to spend time together."

Mayor Peta Pinson said the Lake Cathie foreshore is one of our region's most popular destinations for local families, visitors and those staying healthy and active.

"The new outdoor gym provides the opportunity for all ages to exercise in the fresh air and is a great addition to the recently completed foreshore playground," Cr Pinson said.

"With construction starting on the new skate park, and new pathways, seating and shade on the way, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy in our beautiful Lake Cathie area."

Lake Cathie's population is significantly older than the NSW average, with 28 per cent of the community aged 65 and over, compared to a state average of 16 per cent.

Ms Robin said the benefits of physical exercise are well known and include supporting rehabilitation and recovery and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

"Exercise also improves strength, bone density and physical capacity, reduces fatigue and improves mood and psychological wellbeing," she said.

The public exercise equipment can be used by all but is specifically designed for older people to increase muscle tone, balance and motor skills.

Lake Cathie Medical Centre exercise physiologist Jack Hazelgrove provided a free community education and exercise demonstration using the new gym equipment. The demonstration highlighted how to use the equipment, who it is designed for and why it will be so beneficial.

Lake Cathie Medical Complex is one of four practices involved in another Healthy North Coast program, 'Exercise as Medicine'.

Exercise as Medicine aims to help patients manage existing conditions and improve their health by exercising more.

To find out if you might be eligible to participate in the Exercise as Medicine program, speak with your doctor at Lake Cathie Medical Complex or contact Barry Spencer or Jack Hazelgrove on 02 6584 8899.

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