ABOUT THE STRENGTH FOR LIFE PROGRAM
Research shows strength training can alleviate the effects of chronic conditions such as Arthritis, Type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis and Heart Disease.
Strength training has also been shown to improve:
- Balance and reduce risk of falling,
- Mental wellbeing,
- Body composition (more muscle, less fat)
- Self-esteem and self-confidence,
- Low back pain,
- Older people’s ability to undertake activities of daily living and maintain an independent lifestyle.
Strength training with a progressive format is more effective as it gradually increases the intensity of the exercise. The focus is always on posture, balance and core control. SFL programs will include functional exercises which relate to activities in everyday life.
- Muscle strength can be regained and maintained no matter what the age and physical condition of the participant.
- Supervised strength training is not a high risk activity for over-50’s
Having strong muscles is a necessity in living an active and independent life. It’s our muscles, after all, that enables us to climb stairs, dig in the garden and lift the groceries.
Unfortunately, many people find their strength diminishes as they get older. This is not general a result of getting older, but of being inactive, and can be reversed by undertaking regular, supervised strength training.
TO assist people over 50 to access venues and services that provide strength training programs COTA SA has developed a program called Strength for Life (SFL), which aims to:
- Increase the number of quality supervised strength training programs for people 50 years and over by endorsing providers who meet established criteria, and
- Encourage older people to engage in strength training and experience the benefits strength training provides to their wellbeing and general lifestyle.
The Strength for Life (SFL) program promotes strength training as a suitable and highly beneficial exercise for over 50’s, and facilitates programs that are accessible for all older people.
The SFL program
In 2013, as part of continuous improvement of the SF program, COTA SA introduced 2 categories of SFL
- Tier 1 is delivered by exercise physiologists or physiotherapists, attracts rebates from Health Funds and is suitable for not only participants looking for preventative health benefits, but also for those with more debilitating conditions
- Tier 2 is delivered by fitness instructors, and these programs are suitable for ongoing management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis, or as preventative measures.
How to join
All participants require SFL forms to be completed before they call the SFL facility to book an assessment. This will include pre exercise questionnaire which will determine whether a referral from the doctor is required. These forms and a list of all SFL partners can be found on the COTA SA website. Alternatively participants can call COTA SA on 8232 0422 and have forms mailed to them.
Once an assessment has been booked, participants take all forms to their partner of choice.
- Tier 1 – Assessment will be conducted by exercise physiologists or physiotherapists, will involve baseline fitness testing, and the fee will be a maximum of $45
- Tier 2 – Assessments will be conducted by qualified fitness instructors and the cost is a maximum of $30
- The cost for each SFL sessions is a maximum of $7
To become an Accredited Partner of the Strength for Life program, a facility must meet the following criteria. They must provide:
- Supervised, progressive strength training sessions at least twice a week at an allocated time.
- An environment where social time is encouraged
- At least one suitably qualified fitness instructor or exercise physiologist to oversee the session.
- An accessible and safe environment for people 50 years and over.
- Appropriate personnel so that all clients have an assessment and personalised program.