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    KEEPING ACTIVE: Warracknabeal’s Justin Knorpp is keen to see more people join his Active Farmers fitness sessions to promote positve mental health and wellbeing. Picture: DYLAN DE JONG

AgLife: Justin Knorpp's push-ups improving positivity

Improving mental health through physical exercise is the focus of a program Warracknabeal’s Justin Knorpp has launched in his town. 

Mr Knorpp became group fitness instructor of a weekly ‘Active Farmers’ class after hearing about the Australia-wide program. 

Tasmanian farmer Ginny Stevens started the program because she was concerned about the level of depression in rural communities. 

Mr Knorpp said through exercise and interaction, he hoped participants would become more aware of their health. 

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“I just wanted to try to do something because we’re living in a massive farming community,” he said. 

“Farmers are more isolated nowadays than ever because they own so much land and it can just be them and their dog as opposed to yesteryear with a family on every corner.

“I thought it would be good to get something going to get them off the land and trying something a bit different.” 

Mr Knorpp grew up in Melbourne before moving to Warracknabeal in 2005.

He said he noticed there was a need for more mental health awareness in the farming community. 

“Farming can be a hard game and this region has lost farmers to suicide over the years. This program is just a small way to help out with people’s headspace,” he said.

“It’s a way to take their minds off any stress they have in their working lives.”

Every Monday, a group of farmers gathers in Anzac Park for an hour session of circuit training. 

Mr Knorpp said the classes were open to men and farmers of all fitness levels. 

“The hardest thing can just be showing up. You just do what your body can do within your limitations – push yourself as hard as you want to,” he said. 

“This is a once a week thing, but I hope it encourages people to go out and go for a walk, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.”

– Dylan De Jong

The entire March 31, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire March 31, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!