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Keeping Fit & Active

Whether your love of exercise is a habit acquired as a child or an interest you’ve cultivated later in life, there is extensive research that shows that people who are physically active live better longer. 

Exercising your right to live longer at home

“I hope I'm going to be living independently in my little house until they cart me out in the box,” said Clunes resident, Lois Nichols, “So keeping fit and active is an important part of my plan.” Lois Nichols moved to Clunes more than ten years ago.  A competitive swimmer as a child, exercise was an integral part of her life at every age.  “Before I came to Clunes, I was in the gym six days a week. It was a big problem for me when I realised I couldn’t just do what I’d always done, and be in the gym at 5.30am each morning.  That was when I discovered walking.”


Only knowing a few people in town, Lois reached out to see if anyone was interested in a town walk or occasional trek.  That decision sparked a chain of events that not only improved the range of exercise options available in Clunes, but also began nurturing a culture where people think about why they are exercising and how it will support them to live full lives.


“Our morning walks led to us doing the Coasttrek as a challenge,” said Lois, “Tuesday became a training day.  To keep us focused we put out a call online for a Tuesday Town Walk, which is still going strong now.”


“During Covid, we were only allowed to walk with one person,” explained Lois, “A friend said to me, I'll walk with you.  She regularly competes in marathons so that upped the ante.  From there a local man said, we need a gym. Where can we put a gym? And that was how we got the Bendigo Bank bootcamp run by Neighbourhood House.   The bootcamp led to four of us going over to Creswick carpooling three days a week to use the gym there.”


“Recently Central Highlands Rural Health installed a gym in Clunes.  We are going through the process now of being accessed by the exercise physiologist to be a part of that gym.  So, John’s idea about having a gym locally has been realised and more people are becoming aware of it.”


Photo supplied: With this photo, Lois recently won the photographic prize for the Living and Ageing Well in Hepburn project. 

This project is a collaboration between Clunes Neighbourhood House, Attitude – Ageing Well in Clunes and Central Highlands Rural Health and is supported by Western Victoria Primary Health Network under the Australian Government’s Primary Health Networks Program.

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