Sport – Going green

Harbour Sport’s Green Prescription Programme is a nationwide initiative that motivates sedentary adults to become active. Patients that would benefit from an exercise programme are referred to us by doctors practice nurses, physiotherapists and nutritionists and or dieticians.

One very successful targeted programme is the Green Prescription water exercise group at Parakai Springs, which has helped many not so active adults to become more active, and considerable more healthy. The Green Prescription group started just over 10 years ago. Initially attracting a handful of people who needed to exercise for their health. Now this group attracts 40 – 60 people up to three times a week. 
The group recently shared some of the benefits they have had from attending the classes. These benefits include an improvement in energy, fitness, mental wellbeing and the mobility of joints as well as confidence in the water.

The psychological benefits for these people are the main reason they continue to attend. A few people are isolated and this gives them the opportunity to make friends and have a laugh which leads to other social occasions. Everyone is accepting, encouraging and concerned for each other.

A lady that had spondylolisthesis and a fractured pelvis was only able to get off her bed for 30 minutes day before attending the group and now she is fully mobile. Another woman joined the group after having a heart bypass, aorta valve replacement and breast cancer. She had lost all confidence in her body and the group and exercise helped her immensely. She has been attending for eight years now.

The class has also helped numerous people with their recovery from serious illnesses, including cancer therapy, a heart attack and stroke. Newcomers have become inspired by the unbelievable stories some of the existing members.

People within the group mainly come from the Parakai and Helensville area. However, some travel from Orewa, Whangaparaoa and further afield. The group members pay $5 to attend a class and fundraise to keep the group going. The sustainability of this group depends on community funding, fundraising and the group members.

You can be referred to Green Prescription by your doctor or nurse. Info is also available on Harbour Sport’s website.

Sport development manager, Harbour Sport