A Woy Woy grandmother of five has hailed the support she received from a personal healthy lifestyle coach, offered as part of a free online service on the Central Coast.

70-year-old Dianne Swinnerton signed up for the Healthy and Active for Life Online program to kick-start her into exercising again and to adopt healthy eating habits.

“I hadn’t exercised for years and wanted to get motivated and begin eating healthier,” Dianne said.

“I saw the program offered support over the phone from a personal coach, and I knew that would be the push I needed.”

Healthy and Active for Life Online is a free 10-week program for people aged 60 and above, or 45 and above for people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

It aims to support older people to live independently by increasing their knowledge, skills and confidence in how to lead active and healthy lives, while also helping to prevent falls.

As well as a personal telephone coach, participants receive self-paced interactive healthy eating and lifestyle modules, along with exercise videos to do in their home each week.

Dianne’s coach was Lisa Buechel, and the two decided to meet in person to reflect on the impact the program has made on them both.

“After speaking to Di regularly over the past 10 weeks, it was great to put a face to the voice on the other end of the line,” Lisa said.

“Working with someone over 10 weeks, you really get to know the person and see their progress.

“I like helping people get their health back. I’ve always found if you give people the support, they will succeed.”

Dianne believes the program can benefit many others on the Coast who need the motivation and support from a personal coach.

“It was really beneficial to receive that consistent, one-to-one support. Lisa was so friendly and professional – she really knew her stuff and helped me so much with my confidence.

“The program has also been great for my mental health too. I came away from each session feeling happy and energised.

“To anyone thinking about being healthier and signing up for the program, take the courage to turn on the computer and give it a go.”

Healthy and Active for Life Online is an NSW Health state-wide initiative facilitated on the Central Coast by the Local Health District’s Health Promotion Service.

Programs run four times a year, with the next program starting on Monday 12 July and registrations closing on Friday 25 June. To register, or for more information, visit www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au or contact the Central Coast Health Promotion Service on 4320 9700.