Make a healthy move for summer

Jayde DeBondt and Erica O''Brien on the outdoor gym at Dandenong Park. 223479_01 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Gabriella Payne

As Melbournians get their first taste of summer and restrictions ease after a long, locked down winter, locals are being encouraged to get up and active by a new Greater Dandenong Council initiative.

Make Your Move is a way of shaking off the lockdown blues and promoting both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

It is part of  Greater Dandenong’s physical activity strategy over the next 10 years, aiming to promote active lifestyles and the many facilities for health and wellbeing in the area.

Mayor Angela Long said that the council were excited about this campaign and “committed to supporting residents on their journey to better health”.

“Make Your Move is a call to action for our local community to be more active and will raise awareness about the importance of physical activity, provide more opportunities for people to get active, and provide environments that encourage physical activity,” Cr Long said.

According to figures from VicHealth, less than half of Greater Dandenong residents meet the recommended guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day – a figure which the council want to see change in coming years.

Cr Long said that the municipality of Greater Dandenong also had “higher rates of diabetes and obesity compared to other areas of Victoria” and noted that “our mental health wellbeing levels are lower compared to the rest of the state”.

These statistics inspired the council to instigate its ‘make a move’ strategy.

Despite these lacklustre figures, Cr Long said that it’s not too late to turn things around and get the Greater Dandenong region moving again.

“We can change this by making small changes to our daily routines and enjoying all this great city has to offer in a range of great public parks, open spaces and recreational facilities.

“Being active can lead to a healthier community, physically, mentally, socially and economically, so we’re encouraging everyone to get on board and make their move.”

Physical activity is proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression as well as reducing the risk of obesity related illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“It’s also a great way to meet new people, make social connections and build a sense of community pride,” Cr Long said.

So why not jump off the couch, dust off your running shoes and spring into action this summer and you too could reap the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Residents are able to make a pledge to be more physically active on the council website.

Details: www.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au/make-your-move

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