Improving Health for Older People
Healthy Habits delivered both health walks and circuit classes across Tendring for inactive, older people, and those with long term health conditions. The activities were led by exercise referral specialists, to ensure that cardiac rehabilitation, coronary heart disease and other exercise referral patients were supported to exercise in a safe way.
The Active Essex funded project began in April 2019 and continued until the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw sessions temporarily pause. The health walks took place in West Clacton, Harwich, Brightlingsea, Elmstead and Mistley, whilst the circuit classes took place in Harwich and Walton.
It was important to provide sessions where individuals living with long term health conditions felt safe to exercise. The instructors had physical activity referral qualifications, resulting in participants feeling confident to exercise, knowing that activities will be adapted for their needs. In turn, both participants and the instructors have built great trust among the group.
The walks and classes not only offered the opportunity for people to increase their activity safely and under appropriate supervision, but they have also created a small community. Lasting friendships have been forged and people now meet socially outside the programme of activities, which is crucial for independently exercising and building good habits and a support network for the long term.
Healthy Habits has supported many vulnerable older people and provided them the confidence to take part in physical activity in a safe and supported environment, whilst helping to manage their conditions.Hayley Chapman, Active Essex Relationship Manager for North Essex