We welcomed Ellen Bridges, Physical Activity Coordinator for South Cambridgeshire “Let’s Get Moving”, Cambridgeshire County Council. She explained that her role is to help set up and then support activities in South Cambridgeshire. https://www.letsgetmovingcambridgeshire.co.uk
Government guidelines are 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week, defined as where the heart rate is increased. As you get older it is recommended that 2 of these sessions include strength exercises.
The benefits of exercise are:
- Helps with weight loss and keeping weight off
- Helps make the heart stronger, lowering blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes – exercising the muscles uses glucose
- Boosts self-esteem
- Improves sleep
- Improves strength, reducing the occurrence of falls
It is also important to reduce the amount of time you are sitting. You should get up and walk around every 30 or 60 minutes.
Anyone who hasn’t exercised for a long time should check with their doctor first.
Active & Healthy 4 Life is the council’s exercise referral scheme for residents with medical conditions. It runs in sports centres across the district and is a 12-week personalised fitness programme drawn up and supervised by qualified instructors. Having diabetes qualifies for a referral; see your GP or diabetes nurse. https://www.scambs.gov.uk/active
Mike recently got a referral and has had his first session. He explained that his perception of the Impington Sports Centre as being for young fit people was wrong. There are 2 one hour sessions per week, but you attend a total of 24 so it doesn’t matter if you have to miss any as it’s the total number of sessions that are important. He found the equipment a bit intimidating, but the first session is one to one with an instructor who explains everything and determines the best settings to use. The council subsidise the course; total cost is £88. If you can’t make the daytime sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays the instructors can set up a similar programme for you at a more convenient time, but at the full prices.
There is a wide range of local activities:
Histon & Impington Healthy Walking Group (Facebook)
Thursday mornings, gentle walks around the village. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
HI Walking Group
Friday mornings, the more strenuous walking group. Contact Lynne Kay email@example.com
Activities at Impington Recreation Ground
A wide range of activities including dance, social tennis, walking football, Pilates etc.
Activities at Impington Sports Centre
A wide range of activities including Aquafit, Bodytone, Boxercise through to Zumba
Ellen also recommends swimming as great exercise that avoids pressure on joints.
We had a general discussion and one in the group had done the well known “Couch to 5K” scheme which gets you up and running in 9 weeks in small set targets. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-running-with-couch-to-5k/
There are lots of things you can do as part of your normal life – use the upstairs toilet during the day, walking to the next bus stop, not the closest one, and getting off early coming back. Parking at the far side of car parks so you walk further. Using the stairs instead of the lift.
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/ General advice, plus some exercise videos
If you have any questions Ellen is very happy to help – Ellen.Bridges@scambs.gov.uk