My motivation came right from the start, when I received the letter from my GP inviting me to book an appointment with our local Exercise Professional. I thought to myself: “why not?”, and met Victoria at the surgery. In our first meeting, Victoria went through the benefits of LGM with me, and from this I decided to go ahead and embark on the 12-week programme.
What did you enjoy most about Let’s Get Moving, or find the most helpful?
The information at the weekly group meetings is what I have found the most helpful; the sessions cover a vast array of topics that delve deep into everything from food labelling and nutritional values to different forms exercises and keeping motivated. I also enjoy the small stretching and strength exercises we do at the end of the sessions. The group is very participatory and we all encourage each other to try new things to stay active. One LGM member invited us to the indoor bowls club he attends, then 16 of us decided to sign up! The brilliant atmosphere of the sessions is bolstered by the health benefits experienced by everyone due to being more active: it really inspires me.
Has there been an increase in your physical activity, and if so in what way?
Once a week I walk to Leigh-on-Sea with my wife, and at the end of this walk there are a lot of steps. I find being mindful of how tired I am when I get to the top is a good measure of how my fitness has increased. This has definitely improved! I also do more social activities now since meeting new people through LGM who also want to get active.
Have there been any additional positive outcomes, e.g. self-esteem, energy, health improvements, etc?
I have lost weight since being with LGM but for me, the weekly groups have been the best positive outcome – there is such camaraderie! I went along to improve my health and have now made new friends alongside this. So in terms of all-round benefits, LGM has done more than I could have imagined. LGM has worked so well here on Canvey Island in a very holistic manner: from reducing people’s medication to supporting social cohesion and tackling isolation.
How did the Community Exercise Professional help to achieve the changes made?
The Exercise Professional’s hard work, inspirational ability to motivate people, and ways of making us all feel valued as individuals has been a massive help! Also, Victoria has many connections in the local area and keeps us in the loop of what is available. She was able to introduce many of us to golf by getting us free six-week Get into golf lessons, and now most of us have continued for a very discounted price. Money is often a barrier to trying new things, but with Victoria’s help we have been able to discover new ways to keep active. Victoria is very perceptive: she picks up on what we mention as we go along and treats people individually. For example, last week I mentioned having problems with cramps, so the following week she brought information on this and advised us on how to avoid them when doing exercise. As it happens, I was not the only one to suffer from this so her advice and guidance benefited a lot of us.
Do you have any other comments?
Let’s Get Moving shows you that there is an activity for everyone and it helps to take you from wherever you are to wherever you want to be…perhaps even to where you never imagined you would get! The beauty of Let’s Get Moving is that it shows how you can do a lot within the barriers that have been imposed on you – like age! No matter what your circumstances are, there are things you can do. You can build upon the strength that is there and make it better. Victoria doesn’t force you to do anything, but what tends to happen is that after a few weeks something clicks and you find what activity you enjoy and want to do willingly. Let’s Get Moving certainly does what it says on the tin!