Mooloolaba local of 23 years, Graham McNaughton registered for the10-week holistic online course, which started in May and encouraged others to join the next program.
Mr McNaughton said, through joining the group of ‘Lifters’ he’d already noticed a great difference within himself, by taking the first step and participating, sharing his challenges with others and lifting others up.
“I joined this course because I thought if I gained one thing, then it’s been worth my while. Well what can I say, it’s opened a whole new door so to speak,” Mr McNaughton said.
“In the three walks that I have done since joining the program, I’ve covered 15 kilometres and explored areas of Mooloolaba I have never seen before, and we’re just beginning. We are only in week three.
“The Lift Project taught me that ‘motion’ does create ’emotion’. I only planned to go for a walk to the end of my street and back again, which would have been about three kilometres. I was on such a good roll I didn’t want to stop.
“Mind you, the music was playing softly, I was also getting a running commentary of my progress from the Fitbit, the people I passed were friendly and the breeze and sun felt good.
“I ended up doing a 4.7 kilometre walk in 53 minutes. I was feeling a bit puffed and sweaty, but I couldn’t remember the last time I felt this good.
“The Lift Project is brilliant. It gives me something else to work on and I’m glad Sunshine Coast Council introduced us all to it,” Mr McNaughton said.
Sunshine Coast Council is the first organisation to partner with internationally recognised lifestyle medicine expert, Dr Darren Morton.
The online program explores 10 wellness-enhancing topics over 10 weeks, with an emphasis on mental wellbeing.
Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the program was available for every Sunshine Coast local wanting to take a proactive step in looking after their mental health.
“This program came about because council wanted to take a positive approach in making sure our residents are looking after their mental and physical wellbeing during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” Cr Law said.
“The numbers speak for themselves. More than 3000 locals are participating in this program which builds strong social connections, relationships, resilience, fitness and strength.
“These are all key qualities in council’s Sunshine Coast Community Strategy, where our community is contributing to improving health and happiness.
“The overwhelming flood of support from ‘Lifters’ for this program reaffirms that holistic, evidence-based programs such as this, which draw from the latest research from Neuroscience, Lifestyle Medicine and Positive Psychology, is needed within our community to help people get more out of their lives.
“If you missed the chance to sign up in May, here’s the good news. We are launching The Lift Project Sunshine Coast round two, which starts at the end of July.
“Additional rollouts are also planned throughout the year, so keep a look out for these also.”
The Lift Project Sunshine Coast is suitable for people of all ages and abilities, all you need is the willingness to get involved, lift others and yourself along the way.
Round two registrations are now open. It’s a quick and easy process requiring only your residential postcode and email.
“Programs such as The Lift Project Sunshine Coast reinforce our strength as a community, our resilience and active way of life, which is shaping our region to be healthy, smart and creative,” Cr Law said.
“There’s no time like now to make a positive change, and lift your life as Graham has done.”