The World Health Innovation Summit or WHIS for short, aims to “bring communities together to inspire, innovate and share knowledge to improve healthcare”. Here’s Julie’s blog to WHIS, dubbed to be the ‘Facebook of health’.
Dementia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, all things we fear especially as we age. And yet we can reduce the risk of these – and other dreaded diseases – by up to 50 per cent simply by moving more and sitting less.
Getting the message out there is vital, not only to reduce the years spent unwell and unhappy due to long term health conditions, (on average the last ten years on our lives are spent in ill health), but also to reduce NHS costs which, in England, are expected to rise by £5 billion a year between 2011 and 2018. Most importantly, by meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week, older people can live healthier, happier and more independent lives for longer.
Move it or Lose it has motivated hundreds of thousands of people to do just that through their range of specially designed exercise DVDs for the over 60s (or people of any age with mobility problems) and their network of classes across the UK.
With 11.4 million over 65s, and rising, there is a gap in the market for specifically tailored exercise classes which are safe, fun, effective and appealing.
In partnership with the Centre for Healthy Ageing Research, Move it or Lose it has launched a unique new Training Programme called FABS which brings together four vital ingredients for health, wellbeing and independence as we age – Flexibility, Aerobics, Balance and Strength.
This combines exercise to music with strengthening exercises to combat sarcopenia, simple stretches and stability improvers and the beauty is that everyone can join in whether they need to sit or stand. Along with the theory of understanding the effects of ageing, it also gives instructors ways to motivate their class members to be more physically active at home and to ensure the sessions are full of fun. The classes also include activities and brain games for cognitive vitality and to encourage interaction – it’s literally a top-to-toe workout.
There’s huge demand for exercise classes which are as much fun as Zumba yet less intense, that get people stretching without having to get down on the floor like yoga, that improve muscle strength without pumping iron and that give older people ways of staying steady on their feet without mentioning the “F” word (Falls)!
Move it or Lose are on a mission to train 1,000 specialist FABS instructors to deliver classes, bringing local communities together to exercise and socialise in a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere. They are looking for individuals and organisations to join them in their quest to get half a million people moving more. Having established key partnerships with the Royal Voluntary Service, McCarthy and Stone and a pilot project with the NHS, they are now running training courses across the UK.
Significantly, Move it or Lose it classes appeal to those who would otherwise avoid exercise, like Gill, a piano teacher in the West Midlands who had never exercised in her life; “I love the classes as there’s no pressure; everyone can go at their own pace whether sitting or standing. It’s so much fun and I’ve noticed significant benefits in my mobility, balance and coordination.”
A 12 month project with Age UK Burton and St Giles Hospice saw tangible improvements in gait speed, balance and leg strength after just twelve classes with frailer older adults.
There’s so much scope for people to train with Move it or Lose it and become their own boss, working hours that are flexible and fit in with family life. It’s rewarding – in every sense of the word.