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Making Health Better
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FREE fitness classes will be rolled out to suburban parks in a joint project to improve community wellbeing.

The popular Active Living program, which currently offers 11 group fitness activities a week on the Cairns Esplanade, will be expanded into four suburban parks.

Thanks to funding from the North Queensland Sports Foundation (NQSF) and the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN), regular classes will be held from April at Edmonton’s Ravizza Park, the Marlin Coast Sport Precinct at Smithfield, Mooroobool’s Shang Park, and Coastwatcher Park Trinity Beach.

Division 8 Councillor Jessie Richardson – who is the Chair of NQSF – said the expansion would make free group fitness classes more accessible to the community.

“We know that not everyone can get into the Cairns Esplanade to take part in these classes,” she said. “So, it’s a positive move to take the classes to where the residents are.

“We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to join in the free classes and take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, regardless of their current fitness levels.

“The great thing about the Active Living program is that it’s as much about being social as it is about being active,” Cr Richardson said.

“It’s a friendly, supportive environment where everyone is welcome. Getting out and being part of a group activity does just as much for your overall health and wellbeing as the exercise itself.”

NQPHN Area Manager Vivian Mook said the partnership had been created in an effort to combat obesity and associated chronic disease in North Queensland communities.

“By working together to provide more opportunities for people to engage in an active lifestyle, we can break down some of the barriers to good health that might exist in our communities,” she said.

The full program will be finalised in the next few weeks and will include Zumba, Mums and Bubs classes, yoga, high-intensity circuit training, and classes utilising outdoor green gyms.

The expanded program will initially be presented as a three-month trial, with the potential for more locations to be added in the future.