Online fitness and mobility classes

Online fitness and mobility classes to help older residents get moving again!

Older residents who have become less active over the lockdown or may have lost confidence in their mobility after a fall are being helped to get more active again through a Cornwall Council-funded online fitness programme.

‘Move More Reimagined’ is a course designed by exercise therapists and health professionals to help reduce falls and support people who have become less active during the past six months or who may have a fear of falling, lost confidence or may be at risk of falling, and want to start to increase their activity again in a safe way.

The programme is run by community organisation iCareiMove in partnership with Cornwall Council, Age UK Cornwall, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Chaos TV.

Since the lockdown the programme has been adapted with twice-weekly online classes in strength and balance to encourage older residents and those who may have mobility issues get active again even when they are at home.

The classes at https://www.facebook.com/iCareiMove/ are suitable for people who may have tripped or fallen in the past. They may use a walking stick or walking aid and may have been in hospital previously and have lost some confidence.

The sessions are also suitable for anyone who has become inactive over the last six months and would like to build up their activity levels again in a safe and controlled way.

The aim is to help people become stronger and more active to help prevent falls and improve wellbeing in later life.

Anyone wanting to join in the sessions is asked to register with Age UK so they can be coached and monitored while taking part.

The classes are uploaded onto Facebook so participants can practise whenever they wish.

The virtual programme has been running since last month and participants have reported wellbeing improvements.

Councillor Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for adults, said: “Many people’s mobility and mental health have suffered since the start of the pandemic and these classes can help older people get moving again and build up their confidence in a safe and gentle way.

“Some of us may have been a lot less active during the lockdown and some of us have been shielding, and when we are getting out and about again after a period of inactivity there is a greater risk of falls, so it is even more important to build up your strength and balance slowly and safely.

“You might have a family member, neighbour or loved one that could really benefit from this programme. It’s a great opportunity for someone to regain their confidence and get mobile again.”

Helen Tite, founder of iCareiMove, said: “The classes are really helping to improve the quality of life for people taking part. One person who hasn’t felt confident to walk very much since the lockdown is now able to walk around her block and another person is using techniques she has learnt in the classes to be able to get in and out of the bath unaided.

“People’s mental health has really been impacted by the lockdown and we have some people who are quite poorly doing the classes. After the sessions we all get together on Zoom to have a natter as well.”

Across the country the number of people classed as ‘inactive’ or doing less than thirty minutes of activity per week saw an unprecedented increase of over 3 million to 11.8 million during lockdown earlier in the year, according to the latest Sport England Active Lives adult survey.

Older people, those from poorer and ethnic minority backgrounds as well as those with health conditions are thought to be among those hardest hit.

The icareiMove classes can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/iCareiMove/

People can find out more by contacting and registering with Age Concern at 01872 266388 or email@ageukcornwall.org.uk or info@icareimove.com

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