Households across Gateshead, Newcastle and North Tyneside are getting fit at home thanks to a new wellbeing and fitness plan.
The HowFit scheme has been setup by a local hospital consultant to help people stay fit and healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the aid of a brand new website and instructional leaflet, HowFit encourages users to sign up to a plan of simple exercises that can be carried out at home without the need for any special equipment.
So far hundreds of people have signed up via the website www.howfittoday.co.uk and this week marks the start of a new weekly competition where people can win a limited edition water bottle!
The programme was created by Dr Steven Parry, Consultant Physician, and developed alongside a personal trainer and professional physiotherapists.
Dr Parry said: “Being at home for a long time during the Covid-19 pandemic means that few of us have been getting the exercise that we used to. Even before the Covid-19 virus hit, not enough of us were getting the exercise we needed to stay as fit as possible. “
“Regular exercise carries a number of important benefits, which have never been more important than during the pandemic. However, I realised that there are very few exercise programmes for people to carry out in their own home and even fewer that are suitable for people who are unfit or who have difficulty mobilising.
“HowFit has been designed to include exercises of varying difficulties, meaning that it is suitable for adults of any age, whether you currently exercise or not and without the need for any special equipment.”
HowFit has been created in partnership with NHS North Tyneside CCG and NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) .
Dr Richard Scott, a North Tyneside GP and Clinical Chair of NHS North Tyneside CCG said: “We are delighted to be involved in the development of HowFit and recognise the benefit it will bring to people in North Tyneside.
“As well as making you feel happier and healthier, exercise can cut down your risk of developing medical issues such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, and can also reduce the chance that you could be admitted to hospital due to illness or accident. As well as the physical benefits associated with regular exercise, keeping active can also help to improve your mental health and wellbeing so it is important that we all make exercise a part of our daily routine.”
The HowFit website provides the user with a range of exercises divided into four categories -mobility, strength, cardiovascular health and also stability, balance and co-ordination – with videos and animations on hand to demonstrate how the exercise is carried out. Exercises are further split into three different difficulty levels to allow the user to choose the level that best suits their own level of fitness.
Dr David Jones, a GP in Newcastle and Clinical Chair of NHS Newcastle Gateshead CCG said: “Though it might be tempting to skip on exercise in these challenging times, it is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing and it’s important that we all carry out some form of regular physical activity.
“By carrying out the HowFit exercise programme four or five days a week you can improve your strength, flexibility, balance and stamina with the convenience of exercising in your own home at a time that suits you and at a pace that suits you.”
The HowFit information leaflet was distributed to households across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead in autumn. More information can also be found on the HowFit website at www.howfittoday.co.uk.
The HowFit water bottle competition is running on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To enter the competition and be in with a chance of winning the limited edition water bottle, all you have to do is:
- Follow @HowFittoday
- Like the post
- Tag as many friends as you like (1 tag = 1 entry)
- Share the post on your story and make sure to tag us so we can see it!
The winner will be drawn on at the end of each week, so good luck!