Households across north Cumbria are getting information about how to get fit at home thanks to a new wellbeing and fitness plan.
The HowFit scheme has been set up by a hospital consultant to help people stay fit and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the aid of a new website and instructional leaflet, HowFit encourages users to sign up to a plan of simple exercises that can be carried out at home without the need for any special equipment.
The programme was created by Dr Steven Parry, consultant physician, and developed alongside a personal trainer and professional physiotherapists in Newcastle.
Dr Parry said: “Being at home for a long time during the COVID-19 pandemic means that few of us have been getting the exercise that we used to. Even before the COVID-19 virus hit, not enough of us were getting the exercise we needed to stay as fit as possible.
“Regular exercise carries a number of important benefits, which have never been more important than during the pandemic. However, I realised that there are very few exercise programmes for people to carry out in their own home and even fewer that are suitable for people who are unfit or who have difficulty mobilising.
“HowFit has been designed to include exercises of varying difficulties, meaning that it is suitable for adults of any age, whether you currently exercise or not and without the need for any special equipment.”
The NHS leaflet is being delivered to households across the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System this week.
Dr Mandy Boardman, GP lead at NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Simple exercises can be really effective in helping build strength, as well as so many other physical and mental wellbeing related benefits too.
“We are pleased to support the HowFit programme alongside the great local groups we have in Cumbria who are supporting people to build up their activity and fitness.”
The HowFit website provides the user with a range of exercises divided into four categories – mobility, strength, cardiovascular health and also stability, balance and coordination – with videos and animations on hand to demonstrate how the exercise is carried out.
Exercises are further split into three different difficulty levels to allow the user to choose the level that best suits their own level of fitness.
You can also find local groups near you through Active Cumbria at www.activecumbria.org/ and there are groups like iCan in Carlisle www.icanfitnesscumbria.co.uk/ and Together We in west Cumbria www.togetherwe.uk/ who offer support to people wanting to increase their activity.