Wigan elderly on lockdown are still keeping fit

Residents at a state-of-the-art Wigan care village are being kept fit and active during the lockdown with the launch of the care provider’s own YouTube fitness channel.
Residents get their exerciseResidents get their exercise
Residents get their exercise

The Belong Active channel, run by the care home firm of the same name, provides access to free, online videos, devised specifically to help older people continue exercising while isolating at home, through a series of standing, sitting and even bed-based routines.

Anthony Harley (pictured), lead exercise instructor at Belong, launched the initiative, recording the videos to support residents at the care villages in Platt Bridge and Atherton, following the temporary closure of on-site gym facilities.

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Anthony explains: “We know that our work with residents in the village gyms makes a huge difference to their quality of life, so it was really important to find a way to keep this going, even if we couldn’t access the same equipment. We felt inspired by Joe Wicks’ online PE lessons for the nation’s schoolchildren and thought, why not do the same for older people?”

The not-for-profit care provider’s Belong Active channel consists of a variety of routines, designed to improve both physical and emotional wellbeing. Activities are targeted to specific muscles, such as arms, hands, legs and hips, aiding recovery from operations and reducing stiffness and pain. Building strength, balance and coordination, they also help reduce the risk of falls at this critical time.

Aside from these health benefits, daily exercise enhances mood, improves sleep and provides stimulating activity, all of which have been shown to boost the wellbeing of older people, many of whom remain socially isolated from their loved ones.

Anthony adds: “The videos have been well-received by residents, who now have the basics they need to continue their daily exercise routines, no matter where they are. Even short daily sessions can improve mobility and help older people retain their independence, so we hope more people will take advantage of this valuable, free resource.”