Staying active throughout these difficult times continues to be a huge challenge for older people, but Agewell is here to help every step of the way.
Instructor Alison Pickering launched online exercise sessions on the Keep Moving with Agewell Facebook page in April and has inspired everyone to keep moving at home.
“If people stop doing the exercises they used to do with me in person, they’ll experience muscle tone loss and this will have a big effect,” explains Alison.“They might have been used to getting on the bus to go shopping each week or going to a class, and then because of coronavirus find themselves just sitting there at home. This is having a huge effect on their posture, movement and overall mental health.”
Alison’s online classes have been focusing on quality of movement and getting the exercises right, rather than learning new ones. She’s been running chair-based strength and balance sessions to improve muscle strength, balance, general fitness and overall wellbeing.
Based on the Otago falls prevention programme, the exercises strengthen the posterior chain from the back of your head down to your heels.These muscles play a huge role in everyday activities such as standing up and sitting back down or picking something up off the ground. With people finding themselves sitting for longer because they can’t go out, the muscles shorten, affecting balance and increasing pain.
Alison has also introduced chair-based and floor-based yoga to relieve anxiety and stress. "It’s about making time for self-care and self-awareness,” she says. “We look at movements to soften the body and release tension from head to toe. All my videos stay on Facebook so people don’t need to watch them live, they can follow them at their leisure.
Some of Agewell’s other exercise tutors are using Zoom to run their classes online too and there is now an online class you could join in with every weekday.
The classes are free to access. If you are interested please call Agewell on 0121 796 9333 to complete a health questionnaire prior to taking part. You can also email us here.