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The standing program is designed to meet the needs of residents who are able to stand for limited periods, but may require supervision for walking. They allow clients to access a structured, exercise program that doesn’t require them to be standing for the entire class.
The exercises target various areas of fitness, such as motor skill, muscle endurance, joint range of motion, and cardiovascular endurance. The six classes are divided up into two groups of three, and can be used as step-by-step progressions to span the level of function between standing and walking. In other words, for residents with rehabilitative potential, the program aims to progress them from standing to the ability to commence functional walking retraining. For residents with limited rehabilitative potential, they can be used to maintain function. The colours are arranged as a rainbow, progressing in the following order: Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. The classes are thematic, with each class employing a different piece of equipment (or combinations of these) to work on a particular component of fitness.
The cool colours (Purple, Blue, and Green) use one piece of equipment each, whereas the warm colours (Yellow, Orange, and Red) use two pieces of equipment for extra challenge (please refer to the exercise class for further details).
Exercises using the ball focus on fine motor skills in both the upper and lower limbs. The hand-weight allows for variable resistance and focuses on muscle endurance. Exercises using the band allows for a strengthening focus. Hence the program progresses from motor skill, to muscle endurance, then to strength.
Each class commences with a targeted warm-up and concludes with a cool-down.
Most of all, the classes are meant to be enjoyed with others! So go and have fun!
Christie Manuel is the Director of Stronger Hearts Exercise Program. In 2006, she graduated Bachelor of Creative Arts (Dance) also completing additional courses from the Graduate Diploma of Dance Therapy. Christie operated a very successful dance school in rural NSW for nine years and also taught regular exercise classes in many Aged Care Facilities in the Riverina after training from Heart Moves (Heart Foundation) and employment from the Riverina Division of General Practice. Christie has a passion to provide spaces that people can enjoy the freedom that movement and dance can bring.
Adam Wilkes is the Principal at In Step Physiotherapy in Blaxland, NSW. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 2005 and has worked within the public and private health systems. His clinical interests are in neurological rehabilitation and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. He believes that Seniors greatly benefit from appropriately designed exercise programs, but more so, how they can maintain exercise as a lifestyle in order to live their fullest life.