Patricia Thompson has been working hard and is now reaping the benefits. Photo Georja Ryan / Daily Examiner
Patricia Thompson has been working hard and is now reaping the benefits. Photo Georja Ryan / Daily Examiner Georja Ryan

Lifestyle overhaul leads to healthy glow

AT THE age of 75, Patricia Thompson surprised even herself when she shed 8.5kg in eight weeks.

The Yamba woman decided two months ago to take part in the Clarence Valley's Healthy Eating, Activity and Lifestyle program and says she has no plans to slow down.

It was the first time she included exercise and diet together in a weight loss and health program, and was impressed by the results.

But more importantly, she was now feeling "very well".

Mrs Thompson has been working with Yamba Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic exercise physiologist Claire Ward, who conducted two HEAL programs over the past quarter.

Health professionals from Fluid Physiotherapy Yamba and Yamba Physiotherapy and Sports Injuries Clinic had 33 people in the last HEAL programs.

HEAL is one of four national programs running as part of the Healthy Clarence Communities project.

Organisers have been frantically finalising 24 exercise and nutrition programs across the Clarence Valley in preparation for the final report, which is due to the Commonwealth Government funding body at the end of the month.

HEAL is a lifestyle modification program that helps people develop lifelong healthy eating and physical activity habits.

It offered eight weeks of sessions to assess fitness, plan an appropriate exercise program and discuss healthy eating options.

More than 1000 people have participated in the program in the past three years and, according to Clarence Valley Council general manager Scott Greensill, they were very successful, which meant many local residents had changed their behaviour significantly and were leading healthier lifestyles as a result.

Target groups included older people, people with disabilities, Aborigines, the unemployed and people at risk of chronic disease through being overweight or obese.



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