QUEANBEYAN City Council has joined forces with a number of local gyms and health professionals to help increase the life expectancy of some of the community's most needy people.
The Healthy Queanbeyan Project is funded by the federal government and delivers community-based physical activity and dietary education programs.
It also aims to develop policy measures to support healthy lifestyle behaviours.
The program targets adults that are at risk of developing weight-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardio vascular disease, and don't work full time. This includes unemployed people, part-time and casual workers and people over the age of 65. It also targets members of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and multicultural communities.
One major initiative rolled out this week was Council subsidised fitness sessions.
As a result, Alive! Health and Fitness and 40 Plus Health Club joined Partners in Health and Fusion Fitness in Jerrabomberra to provide Heartmoves, a Heart Foundation approved low intensity exercise class.
ACT coordinator Diane Percy told the Age some people were put off physical training because of safety concerns but that their fears were unfounded here.
All Heartmoves instructors are trained professionals and have experience working with people with chronic illnesses. So, they have the ability to tailor an individual's workout to ensure it doesn't exacerbate any pre-existing conditions.
"Anyone can do it," Ms Percy said.
"It's a safe and effective exercise program."
She said it was perfect for people with chronic illnesses as well as the elderly or any person who hadn't exerted themselves physically for a longtime.
"Obesity is a major problem in Australia. More than 60 per cent of the Australian population is classified as either overweight or obese, including 25pc of children. It can have serious health impacts.
"It is known to cause musculo-skeletal problems, some cancers, sleep apnoea, Type Two Diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in Australia, killing one person every 11 minutes.
"Healthy dietary habits and regular exercise is the best way to regulate weight and prevent illness."
Heartmoves classes are available at Alive! Health and Fitness on Mondays at 1.30pm and at 40 Plus Health Club on Thursdays at 2pm and cost $5.They are also available at Fusion Fitness on Tuesdays at 10.30am for $8 and at Partners in Health on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday at 10am at a cost of $10.