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AMCS Nordic walking program’s accessability and benefits a revelation for eager participants

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A stronger workout, but with less exertion and risk of injury?

It sounds too good to be true, but older Victorians have been embracing these benefits as part of Australian Multicultural Community Services’ (AMCS) new Nordic walking group.

The exercise, popular amongst seniors in Europe, uses specialised poles which conveniently provide support for walkers whilst also intensifying the workout.

The group has been meeting weekly since June, exploring numerous park settings in their 1-1.5 hour walking excursions, including Cardinia Reservoir, Emerald Lake Park, Jells Park and Lysterfield Lake.

AMCS has provided participants with transport, a healthy breakfast and certified instruction on proper walking technique – including assistance in participants’ first language.   

Anton Fernando, an AMCS client, says he has been enjoying the “fresh experience.”

“We like Nordic walking because we exercise a different set of muscles in the upper body than normal walking,” he says.

Another walker, Creeda Muthukuda, says that she and her family are pleased that the exercise trend is finally catching on in her local area.

“I have a son living in Switzerland and he was happily surprised a popular European sport was finally available in Australia,” she says.

What AMCS offers participants

The exercise form is endorsed by Seniors Victoria, which notes that the exercise offers these fitness benefits:

  • activates 90 per cent of the body’s muscles
  • gives a 20-25 per cent greater cardio fitness benefit than regular walking
  • burns up to 46 per cent more calories compared to regular walking without poles
  • decreases the weight load and impact on the joints of the lower body
  • strengthens as well as tones the upper back and shoulders
  • gives a more intense workout but with lower perceived exertion
  • increases the lateral mobility of the spine
  • releases pain and muscle tension in the neck and shoulders
  • promotes an upright and balanced walking posture
  • improves co-ordination

Follow this link to find a list of instructors and providers across Australia.

The AMCS program is free and open to anyone aged over 65, who currently has a carer and lives in Melbourne’s southern region.

Beata Radloff, program coordinator at AMSC, can assist interested parties in organising the necessary My Aged Care referral.

Contact Beata beata.radloff@amcservices.org.au or 0403 165 648.

Further details:

Who: Individuals age over 65

When: Wednesdays

Time: 10am-2pm (includes transport and breakfast)

Where: James Cook Children’s Centre, 55-63 James Cook Drive, Endeavour Hills, Victoria, 3802

From the meeting point, the group moves to the park location.

AMCS provides support to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) elders through a range of services and programmes.

Their volunteer visitor program is another popular service, which successfully aided CALD seniors in overcoming the risk of isolation and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out more about how AMCS can assist a CALD elder in your community, visit: www.amcservices.org.au.

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