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How These Aged Care Residents Manage To Travel The World

With the help of virtual reality headsets, these elderly Australians are using technology to up their exercise routine and 'visit' famous landmarks abroad.

Carole Rundle, 88, has never set foot in Europe. but she's seen all the famous landmarks of Paris - thanks to a virtual reality headset at her aged care home.

"I see things that my grandchildren talk about, they've been to Europe," she told 10 News First.

"One is in Paris now - I keep thinking I might see her today!"

Rundle and other residents at Adelaide's Alwyndor Aged Care wear the headset while riding a modified exercise bike.

It allowed them to feel like they're cycling across continents, on a rollercoaster, or even flying through outer space and new landscapes are added regularly.

A resident goes for a ride on the exercise bike, wearing the VR headset.

READ MORE: Turns Out We're Hard Wired Not To Like Exercise

The Heart Foundation says the immersive exercise experience is key to improving residents' fitness and wellbeing.

"I think it's fantastic if you've had knee replacements, or arthritis in the knees, because it frees them up so much. It's terrific!" said resident Anne Gabb.

"And they're making friends with everyone that is joining the little club, so it's been really fantastic," said Sue Lange, Lifestyle Director at Alwyndor Aged Care.

READ MORE: 5 Things You Already Do That Are Actually Exercise

And it's helping lower residents' risk of developing heart disease - the single leading cause of death in the country, which claims 51 lives per day.

Recent data from The Australian Institute Of Health And Welfare shows some 232,000 Australians live in permanent aged care communities.

With the Heart Foundation estimating that three quarters of Australian seniors not getting enough exercise, the program is really taking off... and taking these riders places they never thought possible.

Contact the author: tryan@networkten.com.au