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Older adults taking active approach to pandemic

November 8th, 2020 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

A group led by tutor, Norma Mulcahy (third from right) taking part in the WellComm Active initiative in Crookstown. The initiative organised by Cork Sports Partnership and supported by Cork Kerry Community Healthcare aims to empower citizens to manage their own health and wellbeing to help prevent chronic disease through peer-delivered physical activity and healthy eating interventions. (Photo: Mike English)

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PEOPLE across Mid and West Cork continue to participate in Staying Fit for the Future, a weekly exercise programme supporting older people’s health and mobility.

With the move to Level 5, Staying Fit for the Future classes will transition to Zoom, in order to continue the weekly exercise groups online, so they can stick with their exercise regime, despite increasing Covid restrictions. Already, class tutors are assisting some of the class participants in getting Zoom ready, and ensuring they have support to access their weekly exercise class online.

Part of Cork’s WellComm Active initiative promoting healthy active communities, Staying Fit for the Future is a structured exercise programme to suit different abilities and needs. It is particularly designed to improve strength and balance in older adults, to help with coordination and mobility.

There are 23 exercise groups across 20 different locations in Cork city and county, with over 220 individuals taking part in weekly classes currently. West Cork locations include Ballinascarthy, Durrus, Ballineen, Dunmanway, Clonakilty, Kinsale, Union Hall, Bandon and Kilmurry.

Eoin Kaar, who is the WellComm Active Project Lead at the Cork Sports Partnership, says class participants are encouraged to contact their tutor for assistance or to call the WellComm Active support line on 086-1409225 if they need support in getting online.

Family or friends operating a ‘support bubble’ with an older adult are also encouraged to help with setting up their online exercise option. Detail of how to participate in online classes is also on the Cork Sports Partnership website, or advice on using Zoom is available from the Age Action support line (01 475 6989)

HSE physiotherapists are involved in developing the Staying Fit for the Future programme and exercise content, which promotes healthy ageing through physical activity, Eoin Kaar says.

Older adults, inactive individuals and vulnerable groups are encouraged to participate. People can register to take part themselves or talk to their GP or health visitor for information. The next season of classes is set to start in January 2021.

Another popular strand of WellComm Active, Project WeightLoss classes are also continuing countywide, adapting to the new Covid protocols. The 12-week weight management programme, developed by health and fitness professionals, is now also online with live classes covering nutrition advice, healthy recipes and fitness plans.

Project WeightLoss is designed to encourage inactive and overweight individuals to try out a structured exercise regime and to learn more about healthy eating.

More information on WellComm Active and local classes is available at corksports.ie/wellcommactive. Health professionals can contact Eoin Kaar at WellComm Active for more information: [email protected] or on 021-4347096 or 086-1409225.

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