Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Boost your heart with a morning walk around shops

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Boost your heart with a morning walk around shops


Healthy hearts: Plaza relaunches free walking program to boost fitness and friendship

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A long-running health initiative has been relaunched at a major shopping centre.

The Healthy Heart Walkers group has been renewed at Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore, after an absence of two years.

The morning walkers had met at the centre twice a week for more than 20 years, before it stopped due to COVID.

It’s now returned under the guidance of local fitness expert, Nina Brisenmark.

The free program, located inside the centre on Level 1, takes place on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7.30am to 8.30am.

The walks are enjoyed in the comfort of air-conditioning, with minimal risk of trips and falls, providing a safe environment for avid walkers who want to enjoy regular exercise indoors and in a social environment.

Ms Brisenmark said she was delighted to be involved.

 “I’m excited to be a part of the Healthy Heart Walkers program,” she said.

“As a trainer, it is possible to have fun while exercising and it’s important to remain active at any age.

“Walking is the perfect way to maintain health and well-being, meet new people or connect with friends each week.”

Walkers Jimmit Marlow, Wendy Pearce, Gwenyth Zwaan and Barbara Doherty with Plaza manager Michael Manwaring.

Centre manager Michael Manwaring said the initiative was highly beneficial for participants.

 The walking group is once again enjoying early morning exercise around the centre, before it opens,” he said.

“Being part of the Healthy Heart Walkers is a great way to stay physically active, improve your daily mood but also an opportunity to socialise with other like-minded people.

“Walkers can set their own pace, complete as many or few circuits as they wish and there’s plenty of opportunities to rest along the way.

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According to the Health Foundation, more than one in four Australian adults (5.76 million people) are doing very little or no exercise at all.

Walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke by 35 per cent and Type 2 diabetes by 40 per cent.

The Healthy Heart Walkers program is a part of the Heart Foundation Walking program.

Established more than 23 years ago, the Heart Foundation Walking program is Australia’s largest free walking network, aiming to achieve one goal – an Australia free of heart disease.

For more information and to register, visit Sunshine Plaza Healthy Heart Walkers.