Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

Mrs Cooper was named the Most Out­stand­ing Metropoli­tan Liv­ing Longer Liv­ing Stronger In­struc­tor of 2016, which was pre­sented to her by Vic­to­ria Park-based Coun­cil on the Age­ing WA. She said it was a lovely sur­prise to win the award. “I was sit­ting in the hair­dresser when I found out and it was quite a shock,” she said. “It was great to win but it’s not just about me, it’s about the team here and the en­vi­ron­ment, so it’s a team achieve­ment.” DEB­BIE Cooper wants se­niors to start do­ing lit­tle things to im­prove their health and well­be­ing.

“Gen­er­ally you need 150 to 300 min­utes of ex­er­cise each week, so I en­cour­age peo­ple to do 10 min­utes of ex­er­cise at one time,” she said.

“If you can’t get out­side then walk around the clothes line and build up your con­fi­dence.

“It can make life eas­ier be­cause as you get older you lose your strength pro­gres­sively.

“It’s not some­thing you lose overnight, but can feel it when you hang up wash­ing or reach for some­thing in the cup­board.”

The Curtin Univer­sity-ac­cred­ited ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist is the lead in­struc­tor for the Liv­ing Longer Liv­ing Stronger pro­gram, which was brought to the cam­pus in Jan­uary 2016.

“The pro­gram is pre­dom­i­nantly strength-based and it’s for peo­ple aged over 50, some who have chronic dis­eases, but it can be for any­one,” she said.

“With all of our clients, we have an as­sess­ment, chat about their goals and then come up with a pro­gram de­signed to fo­cus on those ar­eas.

“We have had about 50 clients since we started and there has been progress for all of them. They have all seen changes, whether it is im­proved flex­i­bil­ity or a greater abil­ity to play with their grand­chil­dren.”

Mrs Cooper said clients were able to come into the Curtin Univer­sity Health and Well­ness Cen­tre two or three times per week to use the gym equip­ment.

Park­wood res­i­dent Pauline Car­rier joined the pro­gram in April 2016 to help with ill­nesses, in­clud­ing chronic fa­tigue, os­teoarthri­tis, asthma and de­pres­sion.

“It’s not just good for your phys­i­cal health but also your men­tal health,” she said.

“I’ve gone from feel­ing anx­ious to feel­ing hope­ful; be­fore I was sur­viv­ing and now I’m thriv­ing.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d464826

In­struc­tor Deb­bie Cooper takes Pauline Car­rier through a work­out.

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