HEARTS pumping, bodies moving, Rockhampton's Mike and Phyl Henderson have taken the first steps to a healthy new future.
The pair spent their Valentine's Day yesterday working out at the gym after signing up for Rockhampton's new health initiative, Heartmoves.
This initiative was launched on the same day as details emerged of a new Queensland Government approach to address the state's soaring obesity levels.
The state government's shock campaign will feature graphic images of fat deposits in a bid to get people to change their lifestyles.
Rockhampton has one of the highest obesity rates in the state with 23.5% of men and 17.9% aged 18 and over officially classed as obese (2012 figures).
That's why Rockhampton Regional Council has partnered with the Heart Foundation to help the community's most at-risk residents.
"I'm excited about it," Mike said, just before lifting five-kilo weights at Goodlife Gym on the city's northside.
"It seems like a great way to start on Valentine's Day, to come along and get involved in the exercises.
"I'm keen to get my blood pressure down, feel better, lose weight and just be more active."
Phyl is also looking forward to getting fit and feeling fantastic before the couple head off on holiday.
"Just be able to walk that bit further and do more physical things when you're going overseas makes such a difference," she said.
According to the Heart Foundation, taking part in the Heartmove sessions helps lower blood pressure, manage weight, improve sleep, increase bone mineral density for arthritis management and prevent falls and injuries from falls.
Cr Cherie Rutherford, chairwoman of council's parks and recreation committee, said the program had a particular focus on people with long-term medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity and helped them enjoy the benefits of regular exercise.
"Our Heartmoves facilitator will take each participant through an exercise program that suits them and their fitness level, with an emphasis on going at their own pace,"she said.
Anyone interested in participating can contact the Healthy Communities co-ordinator on 49368023.