Friendship and fitness on the coast

Use it or lose it! That’s the realistic attitude towards exercise adopted by Star of the Sea Retirement Village resident Lois Harding.

Lois (pictured second from right) and six of her friends created a Ladies Walking Group back in 2012.  The women meet every Tuesday morning to begin their 3-5km walk around the beautiful streets, beachfront and clifftop coastline of Torquay.

“We know walking is good for your health and we thought it would be fun to walk together,” Lois explained.   “There are beautiful places to walk around Torquay. Sometimes we go along the clifftop to Jan Juc beach.  I love looking at the scenery and everyone coming the other way, whether they’re pushing a pram or walking their dog, always say ‘hello’ – it’s a lovely community.”

A coffee stop is one of the most important parts of their walk.

“We chat and discuss all sorts of things.  You sort of pair up with someone on the way down and walk with someone different on the way back. We solve the world’s problems together!”

Lois and her husband, Bruce, moved from their family home in Geelong to Star of the Sea back in 2010.  Sadly, Bruce died one year later.

“My husband wasn’t well and that’s one of the reasons why we came. I’m so glad to be here now for the company and support.”

Lois likes to keep busy in the village, with craft group on a Monday (the group is currently knitting knee blankets for the co-located aged care residence), cards on a Wednesday and indoor bowls on Thursdays.  She also enjoys regular visits from her eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Lois said the ladies would welcome new members.

“It’s a friendly group.  We’re not power walking or going long distance – it’s just gentle, steady exercise.  I think we all know we should keep active… ‘use it or lose it’ they say!

If you would like some more information on the walking group, or Star of the Sea Village, call Retirement Living Coordinator Robyn Leahy on 03 5264 3501.

Health benefits of walking

You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise.

Some of the benefits include:

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • stronger bones and improved balance
  • increased muscle strength and endurance
  • reduced body fat.



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