If you have a condition that would benefit from regular exercise, such as PTSD, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, back pain, cardiovascular disease or perhaps you have had heart troubles, or joint replacement surgery or have suffered muscular injuries and you are an entitled person as per the DVA conditions listed below, then the first thing you should do is find a suitable venue where you can be treated. When you have found a venue that is comfortable to you, see your Medical Provider and obtain the referral. Remember, DVA does not pay for general gym programs, you will only be treated for the condition(s) mentioned in the referral and the person providing the treatment must be a University Accredited and nationally recognised Exercise Physiologist (EP), who must be present for the entire treatment session.
If you could benefit from some exercise, and you’re entitled to DVA benefits, don’t put it off any longer, make the Financial New Year’s resolution and start to enjoy life again.
Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health.
Can you really walk your way to fitness? You bet you can! Get started today.
Know the benefits!
Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. For example, regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight,
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes,
- Strengthen your bones,
- Lift your mood,
- Improve your balance and coordination.
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
Consider your technique
Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements. Ideally, here’s how you’ll look when you’re walking:
- Your head is up. You’re looking forward, not at the ground.
- Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed, not stiffly upright.
- You’re swinging your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows. A little pumping with your arms is OK.
- Your stomach muscles are slightly tightened and your back is straight, not arched forward or backwards.
- You’re walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.
Plan your routine
As you start your walking routine, remember to:
- Get the right gear. Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. If you walk outdoors when it’s dark, wear bright colours or reflective tape for visibility.
- Choose your course carefully. If you’ll be walking outdoors, avoid paths with cracked sidewalks, potholes, low-hanging limbs or uneven turf.
- Warm up. Walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise.
- Cool down. At the end of your walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to help your muscles cool down.
- Stretch. After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. If you’d rather stretch before you walk, remember to warm up first.
Set realistic goals
For most healthy adults, it is recommended that you have at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — and strength training exercises at least twice a week.
As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If you can’t set aside that much time, try two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions throughout the day. Remember, though, it’s OK to start slowly — especially if you haven’t been exercising regularly. You might start with five minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes.
Track your progress
Keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration.
Just think how good you’ll feel when you see how many miles you’ve walked each week, month or year. Record these numbers in a walking journal or log them in a spreadsheet or a physical activity app. Another option is to use an electronic device —such as a pedometer — to calculate steps and distance.
Starting a walking program takes initiative. Sticking with it takes commitment. To stay motivated:
- Set yourself up for success. Start with a simple goal, such as, “I’ll take a 10- minute walk during my lunch break.” When your 10-minute walk becomes a habit, set a new goal, such as, “I’ll walk for 20 minutes after work.” Soon you could be reaching for goals that once seemed impossible.
- Make walking enjoyable. If you don’t enjoy solitary walks, ask a friend or neighbour to join you. If you’re invigorated by groups, join a health club.
- Vary your routine. If you walk outdoors, plan several different routes for variety. If you’re walking alone, be sure to tell someone which route you’re taking.
- Take missed days in stride. If you find yourself skipping your daily walks, don’t give up. Remind yourself how good you feel when you include physical activity in your daily routine — and then get back on track.
Once you take that first step, you’re on the way to an important destination — better health.
A big congratulation to these brave gents.
As part of our Department of Veterans Affairs client base, they have completed a full 12 months of the Heart Health Program at inSports Logan Metro.
Over the course of the past 12 months, these guys have gained knowledge and understanding around living a healthy lifestyle, improving their overall health and well-being and each participant has developed self-management strategies.
This group of dedicated Veterans have participated in at least two group exercise sessions with their Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Brianna from Logan Metro and have reported of feeling “more alive” “fitter” “having more energy” and “reduced pain levels” just to name a few benefits.
Well done team!
If you have a DVA Gold card or a White card covering certain conditions that would benefit from regular exercise, you can be eligible for DVA assistance. DVA recognises that health care providers play a key role in providing treatment for entitled persons and regular exercise is one such treatment they are prepared to provide.
An “entitled person” means a person eligible for benefits or treatment from the Commonwealth as represented by the Commissions, in accordance with the relevant legislation in the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio. Entitled persons will hold a DVA Health Card issued by DVA, or have written authorisation on behalf of the Repatriation Commission or the MRCC. The cards entitling treatment are the Gold Card and the White Card.
Entitled persons may be broadly described as:
- members and former members of the Australian Defence Force;
- members of Peacekeeping Forces;
- war widows and war widowers;
- Australian mariners;
- children and other dependants of veterans; or
- persons from overseas who are entitled to treatment under an arrangement with another country.
Gold Card holders are entitled to clinically necessary treatment covered by DVA’s health care arrangements for all health conditions.
White Card holders are entitled to clinically necessary treatment for the following conditions:
- an ‘accepted’ disability, i.e. an injury or disease accepted by DVA as caused by war or service;
- malignant cancer (neoplasia);
- pulmonary tuberculosis;
- posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- anxiety and/or depression; or
- symptoms of unidentifiable conditions that arise within 15 years of service (other than peacetime service).
There are certain conditions however.
To obtain the benefit you must first have a referral from your local medical provider.
Referrals can be provided by:
- medical practitioners;
- medical specialists;
- health care providers with a current referral transferring the entitled person to another health care provider of the same speciality; or
- hospital discharge planners.
The referral must be written on either a ‘DVA Request/Referral Form’ (Form D904) or using the letterhead of the referring health care provider. All referrals must include:
- name and DVA file number of the entitled person;
- the treatment entitlement of the person, i.e. Gold Card or White Card;
- if the entitled person is resident in a Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF), the level of care that they are funded to receive and the date the funding began;
- provider number of the referring health care provider;
- date of the referral; and
- condition to be treated.