Get out and get active this winter

Most people are familiar with early starts on chilly Saturday mornings, rugged up with a hot drink after travelling to one or more of our local sporting grounds to watch a game and cheer on their players and teams.

The days are getting shorter, the weather is cooling and as netball, football, soccer and other winter seasons kick into gear there can be no doubt that in the Murraylands we love our sport.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any sport or recreation club.

They are everyday people, often have full time jobs, families and give freely of their time to provide sport opportunities to the community.

They often sit behind the scenes and get little recognition but without them we would not have the vibrant sports culture we enjoy today.

Sport is vital in rural communities like ours because it brings the community together, promotes social interaction and inclusion and contributes positively to community identity and a sense of place.

Sport is often referred to as the social fabric that holds rural communities together.

Sport also provides opportunities for physical activity and corresponding improved health.

The benefits of physical activity are well documented and include efficient functioning of the heart, reduced rate of diabetes, better blood sugar control, weight control, lowered cholesterol levels, improved blood circulation, lowered rate of hypertension/blood pressure, and lowered stress levels.

Regular physical activity increases the bodies immunity through increased rate of white blood cells reaching every body part and regular sweating assists in removing toxins.

The Rural City of Murray Bridge works to assist its community to be physically active in many different ways.

The obvious responsibility is to provide sport facilities and outdoor fitness equipment but less obvious roles include the provision of an enhanced and quality footpath network, bike lanes, playgrounds and trails that all provide physical activity opportunities that are free and accessible to all.

So why not brave the cold this winter and take the opportunity to be physically active using one of the many opportunities available.

It might be a little chilly, but your body and health will be the big winners!

Kevin Heyndyk,

Team Leader Youth Sport and Recreation,

Rural City of Murray Bridge