In the Central West region of New South Wales, Orange resident and 78-year-old parkrun enthusiast, Walter Jones, counts his lucky stars after completing cardiac rehabilitation with flying colours following the diagnosis of a partial blockage in a branch artery.
With more than 100 parkruns under his belt, Walter said parkrun has been a wonderful addition to his already active lifestyle, and an important part of his ongoing risk management.
“My neighbour first put me onto parkrun a few years ago as I was finishing cardiac rehab,” said Mr Jones. “I met a friend’s husband who was in cardiac care with me, and parkrun is where we keep in touch.”
The way it’s organised, and the friendship are the things Mr Jones enjoys the most about parkrun.
“The social aspect is amazing. We realise we all share the same goal to keep fit, and many of us have other common interests,” he said. “There were over 300 people at our parkrun. We get people from overseas too. I met a lady I knew many years ago who now lives in Melbourne – I told her to see the photo of her mother and my mother at the museum before she left town.”
“My body just feels ready to get out of bed every Saturday morning, I don’t have to set an alarm or anything.”
Although overshadowed by the current global COVID-19 pandemic, Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for 27% of all deaths in Australia in 2017, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics Data.
A range of factors increase the likelihood of developing heart disease and being aware of them is the first step to prevention. Lifestyle risk factors include depression, unhealthy eating, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, not getting adequate exercise, and being overweight.
parkrun exists to facilitate greater connection within communities while providing an accessible avenue to increased health and happiness for people of all ages and abilities. An amazing team of parkrun volunteers’ welcome people to come together every Saturday with the shared goal of increasing physical activity and improving health and fitness.
Walter is thankful for his opportunity to connect with his local parkrun community at Orange and is looking forward to returning in the near future.
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