Springs Medical Centre’s Put A Spring In Your Step program is teaching people with chronic heart and lung conditions how to effectively manage their health.
The 12-week program, started last August, is funded by the premier health network.
It comprises of two weekly exercise sessions and one education session on subjects such as health and diet.
The program gives participants the tools, tips and advice to confidently manage their own conditions by increasing their understanding of how health effects the body and mind.
Program coordinator Karina Crannitch is passionate about working within the community to try to improve the health and wellbeing of an individual.
She said the program was very positive, as it did not aim to put all people with a chronic disease in a box by separating them into groups of different diseases.
She said around 70 people were currently attending, with most participants aged between 30 and 80 years old.
Ms Crannitch works alongside Bree Parison, who is an exercise physiologist with vast experience in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. She focuses on exercise prescription in chronic disease.
Program participant Jenny Hoath was referred to the program by her GP. Ms Hoath is in her seventh week of the program and said it had been enlightening, even though she had never enjoyed exercise.
“I am starting to feel the benefits more each time. I like the guidance. It’s like having a personal trainer. The exercise is helping with my health problems and increasing my physical abilities,” she said.
She said she particularly enjoyed the social component of the program as she was able to interact with other people.
John Clark and his wife are both participating in the program too. Mr Clark was referred to the program by his GP after a cycling accident involving black ice resulted in his back problems. He and his wife are very active and walk their dog for 40 minutes a day.
Mr Clark said he finds the program useful as experts are on hand to provide information on different aspects of physical and mental health and to prescribe the right exercises for particular problems.
He said he and his wife have participated in similar programs in Ballarat, but it was great to finally have one close by in Daylesford, where they have lived for 67 years.
Mr Clark said it would be beneficial if Daylesford had hydrotherapy facilities. “It would be good if Daylesford had an indoor pool for hydrotherapy,” he said.
Put A Spring In Your Step is held in facilities in Daylesford, Trentham and Creswick and will soon be held in Clunes.