Learning healthy habits

Patricia and Ross Leeder have found a new lease on life thanks to the support they received from a personal healthy lifestyle coach, offered as part of a free online service on the Central Coast.

Ross and Patricia Leeder with their coach, Lisa Buechel.

6 September 2023


THE Point Clare couple, now in their eighties, signed up for the free Healthy and Active for Life Online program to kick-start themselves back into exercising and to learn more about healthy eating habits.


“We were out of our usual exercise routine, particularly after COVID-19, and wanted to get motivated and begin eating healthier,” Patricia said.


“And now six months later we’re still completing the home exercise circuits most days,” Ross said.


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


Healthy and Active for Life Online is a free 10-week program for people aged 60 and over, or 45 and over 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.


Ross and Patricia’s coach was Lisa Buechel, and the three decided to meet in person to reflect on the impact the program made on them all.


“After speaking to Patricia and Ross regularly over the program’s 10 weeks, it was great to put a face to the voice on the other end of the line,” Lisa said.


“I like helping people get more active and to re-engage them with healthy habits. I’ve always found if you give people the support, they will succeed.”


The Leeders believe the program can benefit many others on the Coast who need the motivation and support from a personal and devoted coach.


“It was really beneficial to receive that consistent, one-to-one support. Lisa was so friendly, devoted and professional – she really knew her stuff and helped us so much to keep us committed,” Patricia said.


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


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 9 October. Registrations close on Friday 6 October. To register, or for more information, visit or contact the Central Coast Health Promotion Service on 4320 9700.

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