A special scheme set up by Cotswold District Council to help older people get fit and feel more confident is proving a new lease of life for many.
Active and Able was first launched in Autumn 2005 and boasts 23 weekly classes in postural stability and Tai Chi at 13 different venues. The classes, designed to help reduce the risk of falls, improve balance problems and help people with bone problems, are all run by trained fitness instructors.
Classes have a range of participants, both male and female, and not only do they provide health and fitness boosts, but they also help members find new friends and rediscover lost confidence.
Betty Pollard from South Cerney is one resident who has been reaping the benefits of the Active and Able scheme. The 86-year-old has been attending Wednesday afternoon classes for almost two years after suffering a series of nasty falls. The former tailor and shop assistant said:
“I had lost my confidence completely and these classes have helped me a lot, because my confidence is slowly coming back.
“It’s so important at my age to be able to be independent and be out and about and I’m sure these experiences are helping me.”
All classes run for an hour, and a typical session would involve a warm up exercise – to stretch arms, legs and knees – before taking part in a range of stamina and balance exercises.
Each class costs £2.80 per session, which includes health and fitness assessments.
If you think these classes could be for you, please contact Jeanette Hughes at Cotswold District Council on 01285 623450.
For a full list of the classes on offer, please visit Cotswold District Council’s website at www.cotswold.gov.uk