Keeping seniors active during lockdown
How can we keep everyone moving during lockdown?
This was the one of the many things keeping me awake at night when lockdown was announced. Knowing how our classes provide an essential service for tens of thousands of over 70s, we had to act fast and find ways to help them, along with many other older people, stay active and connected.
One of our biggest problems has been reaching those who are not online. Thank goodness we had our traditional DVDs and Stay Fit for Life book as these have been invaluable. We discounted the DVDs and put together a support pack with all of the resources we could offer, and this has been shared by organisations across the UK reaching over 10,000 people so far.
The Cuppa Routine – four simple exercises you can do while you boil the kettle – really came into its own. Many of our instructors printed this out to send to class members who couldn’t access the video and one enterprising instructor created a gift card with this on. So, we now have a card available on Thortful so you can share good wishes and some really useful exercises with a loved one.
Our YouTube videos have reached 2.6million people in the last ten weeks with the ‘How to improve your balance in 5 minutes’ fast approaching 1million views.
We began offering a Facebook Live class every weekday with over 221,000 views to date and great reviews such as; “Lovely routines and lovely music. Thank you” and “Excellent session, thank you!”. Knowing that people all over the country are still enjoying our exercise routines, albeit in the different format, really spurs us on to do more to help those that need us.
Our free Get Up and Go app has helped over 15,000 frailer people in care homes to exercise from their chair or bed, which is so important when their regular classes cannot run now or for the foreseeable future.
As the weeks have gone on, hearing how many people were just not able to get out and about to exercise, the very real threat of a second pandemic loomed; not from Covid19 but from sarcopenia. All of our exercise classes address the need to do strengthening exercises to prevent loss of muscle which leads to loss of mobility, deconditioning, loss of independence and greater need for medical help or social care. So, we came up with a really simple way to address this by getting everyone to join our campaign #StandUpForNHS. By doing the sit-to-stand exercise for just 30 seconds each day and improving their score, we can turn back the clock and help people to stay strong and active.
We were thrilled when Olympian, Tessa Sanderson MBE agreed to be our ambassador and help spread the word across the nation. As people move on from clapping for carers, we want to get everyone to stand up for the NHS and save them countless millions in the months to come when we emerge from lockdown.
There’s still a long way to go and many challenges ahead to ensure Move it or Lose it is there to support older people everywhere and help our network of wonderful instructors who are now unable to run their vital classes.
But in the meantime, we’ve done everything we can to do our bit and have launched the Move it or Lose it Video Club to provide classes whenever and wherever you are. Online classes can never replace the fun and chat we have in real classes but will at least keep everyone active and connected until we can get back to normal. We had reviews such as; “Absolutely love it. It was just what I was looking for. Just the type of exercise I need. Unfortunately, there’s no classes in my area but not now I can do a class every day if I want!”
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