12 November 2014

Did you know that YMCA London South West offers a subsidised 12 week exercise programme for people with health issues, which is available for anyone in the Borough of Kingston with a referral from a GP? 

The Get Active scheme is run in partnership between NHS Kingston and YMCA LSW. It allows GPs and other health professionals in the Royal Borough of Kingston to refer their patients to the YMCA gyms at YMCA Surbiton and YMCA Hawker, where a personal exercise programme will be delivered in a suitable and safe environment by a qualified NHS exercise specialist.

Injury prevention

Through Get Active, people can get help with existing medical conditions; however it can also be a preventive measure against further ill-health and to promote future good health.

The 12 week programme helps people to gradually introduce a regular exercise routine that is manageable and specific to their needs.

Get Active includes private consultations, a tailored exercise programme, on-going assessments, goal setting, motivation and lots of support and advice from a personal exercise specialist. Whilst on the scheme, each gym session is only £3.60.  If you want to sign up with a membership after the 12 weeks, this will be available at a reduced cost.

Highly recommended

Denise Dale has just finished the 12 week Get Active programme and she highly recommends it.

“The Get Active programme is brilliant for your wellbeing! It is fun, motivating and sociable. What’s so great about it is that it’s individually designed and very personal. The programme is perfect – and all you need is a referral from your GP and it will be subsidised,” Denise says.

She heard about Get Active after she was diagnosed with osteoporosis earlier this year.

“A coincidence had it that shortly after I was diagnosed Royal Borough of Kingston and NHS launched a ‘Bone Health campaign’. As a part of this I got a leaflet about Get Active, which I brought along to my GP. My advice to others who would like to get on the scheme is that you need to bring it up with your GP, as they have rarely heard about it”.

Personal training and advice

Denise says much of the success she has had with the scheme is down to friendly and talented exercise specialist Craig, her personal Get Active trainer.

“I’m so impressed with Craig. He has great knowledge about bone health and is very approachable. At the initial consultation he looked at my bone health and picked up on individual issues, from which he developed a personal programme for me,” she says. 

“What’s good about the programme is that he also uses it to measure my progress, and to keep track of my improvement. It is very motivational!”

Prevents injuries and gives energy

The Get Active scheme has not only had a positive effect on Denise’s “bone health” but also on her general wellbeing.

“My reasons for doing exercise are not just to deal with the diagnosis, but also feel a better general wellbeing and to get more energy in my everyday life”.

 “Also, through exercise your body releases endorphins, stress levels can be reduced plus stronger muscles benefit the bones. When you have osteoporosis, building muscles around the bones is extremely important. It’s important to strengthen the core and to work on the balance – that’s why I do a lot of resistance training,” Denise explains.

“I also do walking and biking, but I have to be careful about the spine and I have to make sure all the training is quite gentle as to not fracture anything”

 “At the end of the 12 weeks, you even get a certificate that you can bring to the GP which describes the outcome of the programme”.

Friendly and social atmosphere

The last three months of exercising at YMCA Surbiton has not only been beneficial for Denise’s health and wellbeing. She also discovered that the gym is a great social meeting place.

“Also, there’s such a great atmosphere here – people chat and help you, there’s no snobbishness and you don’t feel intimidated, it’s a really friendly gym”.

For further information about the Get Active exercise referral scheme, contact the Get Active Team on 020 8339 8022.

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