Falls Awareness Week!

Well it`s that time of year again where all agencies safeguarding our older population are going stir crazy about building awareness of the importance of “Falls Prevention”

All very good and well but why do we only go stir crazy for one week what about the other 51 weeks of the year! and to be quite honest we hold falls awareness in June this isn’t the high season of when Falls  are more likely  to occur so to speak! But none the less at least were talking about it at long last

some latest figures suggest that 9000 elderly people in the UK die every year due to a fall, and still each fall can cost local NHS authorities up £21.000 in  hospitalization, hip replacement, rehab, per fall on average!!  And that isn’t one of the worse case scenarios, so why on earth can it be morally sustainable for these costs to continue to mount up especially when 1 x faller may experience several falls in a week, month or year,  what more can be done to lower the risk of falls which in turn will reduce the cost to our beloved NHS

Our older population needing to take better care of themselves, on what might seem small every day measures what the younger generation may take for granted

  • Having your eye sight tested regularly
  • Hearing aids checked regularly
  •  making sure there is sufficient lighting in home                chair-exercise
  • Rugs and carpets are securely fitted to the floor
  • Good floor space and clutter free
  • Regular medication reviews
  • Good diet
  • Healthy feet
  • appropriate clothing and foot wear

But another important aspect which gets left off the list a lot, is a good quality of life, good company an active social life “living Life” still being able to get out and about and the support everyone needs to achieve this, if all areas had an affordable supported transport system to enable our older people to take part in social events and if falls prevention classes where as popular as local Zumba classes and there was incentives put into place to encourage our older folk to participate, prevention is better than cure and educating people that a fit and healthy lifestyle is a life long relationship that we have with ourselves, we are never too old to try something new, and we must do what ever it takes to keep our selfs Fit Healthy and Happy! but most important Independent!!

So please if you know of someone who may be struggling with their health and is in fear of falling the best advice that you could do for them is to support and encourage them to participate in one of their local falls prevention classes, contact your local health authority to see what is happening in your area, or you could go to Age concern or simply contact me fit4life@live.co.uk  and together we CAN make a difference, Support Falls awareness Week and check that all your older relatives and friends ARE NOT living with the fear of FALLING

Bye Bye for now! I`m going to miss you all

Awww it`s been an emotional week, as i`ve said bye-bye to  a couple of my Mature Movers classes, i`ve been with these two particular classes

7-8 years,  and over that time  we`ve had some fantastic sessions we`ve worked out really hard, we`ve sweated together, but most of all i think we`ve laughed even more, i can honestly say that over those years i have met some wonderful people, and many have left an impression on my life, photo

As a fitness instructor it is your job to inspire and teach people to how to physically look after themselves, but my participants now friends have taught me so much more and i would just like to say thank you to each and everyone who have come along and supported me over the years, but this isn`t GOODBYE!  hopefully this is just a bye-bye for now, you never know when the time is right we will set up again, it`s just a shame that there are only 12 hours in the day and only 5 working days of my week haha team you know me!


Group Leaders Wanted – Could YOU Do it??


Ready Steady Mums is an organisation with a unique approach. Mums around the UK are encouraged to enjoy FREE weekly exercise sessions in their local communities along with their babies and toddlers making sessions both practical and fun. Through the Ready Steady Mums movement, sociable groups of women regularly meet up for volunteer-led exercise groups which range from fitness sessions at the local park to buggy walking groups. RSM sessions can be flexible to meet the needs and wants of local mums but most importantly, busy mums are given the opportunity to get outside in the fresh air with their babies, keep active and make new friends locally.

In addition to the local RSM groups, each mum is supported by her own FREE virtual personal trainer on-line. The VPT provides her with expert, tailored guidance to follow ensuring that she exercises s at her own pace with appropriate postnatal exercises.

Volunteer Group Leaders do not need to be fitness experts or qualified instructors as each mum (through her online VPT) will be aware of her own limitations. Group Leaders simply coordinate and lead their exercise group on a day, time and place that suits them. There is a range of fantastic resources available for Group Leaders to access such as example session plans, leaflets and posters and in addition, full support is offered by a dedicated Support Manager who can assist with setting up and promoting new groups.

There are already a number of successful local groups taking place at various locations across the country led by our enthusiastic Group Leaders and we are increasing the RSM community even more. Ready Steady Mums is helping mums everywhere to reach their post-baby body goals and to actively embrace motherhood! Can you help?

For more information on becoming a Group Leader go to www.readysteadymums.com

Or for an informal chat you can contact me on 07865081598 or mail me  leigh@readysteadymums.com

Hi Everyone i`d like to introduce Ready Steady Mum`s


Hi all

Some of you may know that I have recently started a part time role with Ready Steady Mums (RSM). I wanted to contact everyone in my network of friends and colleges to explain a bit about what RSM is all about and also to seek your help.

What is unique about RSM and what appealed to me is that it’s completely FREE for mums to attend unlike other similar fitness groups. RSM exercise sessions can be anything you want them to be- we have walking groups through to full on circuit sessions at the local park! Group Leaders who take the exercise sessions are actually volunteers…more often than not, other mums who want to do some form of exercise and meet other local mums in their community-although anyone can volunteer to lead a session.

Group Leaders do not need to be fitness experts or qualified instructors; they simply coordinate and lead the group sessions which take place on a day, time and venue that suits them. Through Ready Steady Mums, Group Leaders have access to example exercise sessions, online films by other RSM volunteers, a new Group Leader Facebook page, a helpful handbook and dedicated support from a Group Leader Support Manager (me!). The minimum commitment asked of them is three months. There are now a number of RSM exercise groups taking place across the country (Melbourn/ London/ Brighton/ Bristol) and we hope to set up many more groups. Hence myself here in Shropshire

Another resource for mums to access via RSM is the FREE online, virtual personal trainer (VPT) suitable straight after labour where members work through the various levels at their own pace creating a personal, tailored exercise programme. Before joining a local RSM exercise session, all mums should be signed up to their VPT to understand their own post-natal body limitations-see the Ready Steady Mums website below.

Mine and my colleague Carman’s new role with Ready Steady Mums is predominantly to support existing and new Group Leaders and to expand the RSM community- supporting mums across the country to reach their post-baby body goals! This is where you can possibly help:

  • Please forward this email to your own network of mums or any interested parties
  • If you or anyone you know is  interested in joining a local RSM group or setting up a RSM group in their own community, please get in touch
  • Like the Ready Steady Mums Facebook page
  • Befriend me on Facebook and share Ready Steady Mums links that I circulate
  • Let me know of any local mums groups who would be interested in finding out more-I’d be happy to come and talk to you in person
  • Let me run a trial exercise session with you and your friends so you can see how easy and enjoyable it is!
  • Watch out for the release of the new Ready Steady Mums post-natal DVD
  • Tell me how we can promote RSM to even more mums!

Thanks for taking the time to read my email!

Hope to hear from you soon.




Ready Steady Mums

New things are Happening

Well it`s all fun for us at the moment, very exciting times all new for me     photo


As some of you may already many of my sessions have been kindly supported or coordinated by our local NHS for several years

but due to changes in local services this is now longer feasible, so sadly some of the services will be no longer and some will be continuing, so what an emotional topsy-turvy week it`s been explaining to some loyal and long-standing participants  that their session will soon be coming to an end but on a higher note exciting times as I re brand and continue privately all enquiries e-mail fit4life@live.co.uk

things to look forward to

  • “Back off the floor work shop” for residential homes, sheltered housing schemes and 1-2-1 clients. For those who are concerned with what they would do if they fell or are struggling to get up when they go down! to book your work shop e-mail fit4life@live.co.uk
  • Run4life Running club were also going through some changes as well were looking for a charity to be come our New Mascot  so that any funds we raise through the events that we participate in will go directly to them,  were going to have a new Facebook Group page where sponsors will be able to follow a link and track our training and see what else we`ll be getting up to, new training sessions also to be added, if you`d like to join us you’re welcome we don’t mind if you have never run before or you’re a well seasoned marathoner you would be very welcome to join us, for times when we meet e-mail fit4life@live.co.uk
  • New Mature Movers classes where and when still to be decided on but i`ll let you all know as soon as i can

but in the mean time here`s a couple of links that you can listen into a radio interview with Eric Smith from Shropshire Radio and also the Start of the Market Drayton 10k that a few of us took part in sunday 12th of May, this race is one of our favourites we attend most years and this year was a good one for us as a group, for some of our new members it was their 1st 10k,  for others it was all about the PB for me it was just about finishing and i did 58-18 :))

Radio interview  http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/p01879ds

Market Drayton 10k Starting line http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFgMsrkiEyw  see if you can spot us

My FREE Leaflet “Back off the Floor”

Hi all,

i`m re publishing my leaflet of how to get “Back off the Floor”  I apologise if some of you couldn’t open it the last time i published it, So with a lot of help from My friend Sheila from Club 2000  www.club2000.btck.co.uk i`ve managed well NO! Sheila has managed  to convert it for you all, so please feel free to open it, print it, and most of all PRACTICE IT!



Advice on how to stand  up out of a chair without asking some one for help! it`ll will show you how to get on and off the floor safely and how to manoeuver around the floor

this is my step by step guide “Back Off the Floor”

if you are concerned about how to get  down and “back Off the Floor” or if you would like to Host a workshop at your work place residential housing scheme or nursing home please contact me fit4life@live.co.uk  or call 07865081598 for details

Back off the Floor leaflet

Club 2000 Gym Sessions

Where`s the best place to be on a Thursday evening? Club 2000 at Abraham Derby new sports and leisure facilities in Telford of course!!!


I must admit these sessions are one of my highlights of the week, i`ve been running the inclusion gym sessions for Club 2K now for several years, and we have seen many members come through our door, we have  the use of a large area segregated off  from the main public and for 1 hour each week, members attend and really enjoy a good work out each week, the disabilities of members vary from downs syndrome, physical disabilities and other learning difficulties, but once the session begins there is no disabilities were all members and friends enjoying our evening together enjoying what we like to do and that’s keeping fit and being active, apart from the gym sessions there are also football and swimming on offer to the members as well as other social activities like Wii Games Arts and crafts and not to mention the fantastic Drama group,  the club also enjoys regular disco`s through out the year where we strut our stuff  and sing the night away (maybe have a little drink ) The club is run entirely by Some very special volunteers and simply just wouldn’t work without them


Club 2000

Although the Club 2000 Committee meets at the Hollinswood Local Centre, Club itself is held on Thursday nights at the new Abraham Darby Sport & Leisure Centre in Madeley, would this still count as eligable for your site?  If so, perhaps you would consider the following for inclusion:

Club 2000 Sport & Leisure is a club for people with disabilities, including learning disabilities, that meets at The Abraham Darby Sport and Leisure Centre on Thursday nights.  Application for membership is open to anyone over the age of 16 and costs £50 per year.  There is no upper age limit and you don’t have to be disabled to join.

Club meets on Thursday evenings at The Abraham Darby Sport and Leisure Centre in Madeley from 6.15 – 9.00 pm and activities include 5-a-side football, shortmat bowls, crafts, swimming, Nintendo Wii games, coffee bar and, once a month, a bingo session that members seem to love.

If you would like to find out more about Club 2000, you would be made very welcome at the Abraham Darby Sport and Leisure Centre on a Thursday evening or you can contact Sheila Cooper on Telford 405169 or 07904 180428; Sue Harris on Telford 244721 (work) or 255267 (home) or Anne Devere on Telford 585678.  You can also find lots of useful information on our website, www.club2000.btck.co.uk or, if you are a Facebook sort of person, our Facebook page is open for viewing – just look for Club 2000 Sport and Leisure, Telford.


Running to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

If you’re a runner, you probably already know the many great health benefits you receive from participating in this great activity, but did you know that running can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Exercise is the best way to prevent this frightening illness.

A report that was released early this year warned that one out of every eight baby boomers, including those born from about the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That equates to up to ten million boomers that can expect to develop the disease, for which there is no prevention or cure.

Those are scary statistics, but if you already participate in an exercise routine for at least 30 minutes three or four times per week, you’re well on your way to greatly lessening your risk of the devastating illness.

As many as 50% of Alzheimer’s cases can be prevented through lifestyle changes, including leading an active lifestyle rather than a sedentary one.

If you’re a runner, the chances are that you don’t have high blood pressure, aren’t obese, don’t smoke or have diabetes; all factors that can lead to the illness. In addition to reducing your risk of those negative aspects, the exercise itself has been proven to lower your risk. The   physical   activity appears to inhibit Alzheimer’s-like brain changes in mice, slowing the development of a key feature of the disease.

The director of the Alzheimer’s Research Centre at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ronald Petersen remarked, “Regular physical exercise is probably the best means we have of preventing Alzheimer’s disease today, better than medications, better than intellectual activity, better than supplements and diet.”                                                                                  imagesCANPXC9T

While Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, it is not a normal part of aging. If you need another excuse to motivate yourself to get into the good habit of running, or any type of aerobic activity consistently, this is a good one.

Alzheimer`s is a fatal brain disease and a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, behaviour and thinking that gradually worsen over time. Eventually people with the illness completely lose their independence. Early symptoms can include memory loss, difficulty solving problems, inability or difficulty completing simple tasks, confusion as to the date and/or time, trouble interpreting distances or problems with reading, communication difficulties, losing things, poor judgment or a decrease in judgment, withdrawing from involvement in social or work activities, and changes in mood.

It’s not a disease anyone should want to wish even on their worst enemy.

If you’ve been living on your sofa or at the keyboard far too much lately, it’s time to get up and get active. During my time working on fall prevention I have met some wonderful people who have lived some fantastic and intriguing lives, intelligent people, people who have contributed to society, people who have invented or entertained us, so many lives lost and life times of memories forgotten and only a shell of that once person left behind,







Exercise and physical activity for people with dementia

Leading a physically active lifestyle can have a significant impact on well-being. Exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health and can improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia. It includes a wide range of physical activities from walking across the room or gardening to dancing. This factsheet explains why keeping physically active is important for people with dementia , gives examples of suitable exercises and physical activities for people in different stages of dementia, and suggests how much activity is appropriate.

Benefits of exercise and physical activity                                      imagesCAZ0XAH0

Benefits include:

  • improving general cardiovascular health (relating to the heart and blood vessels) – it can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease
  • reducing the risk of some types of cancer (in particular breast and colon cancer), stroke and type 2 diabetes
  • improving physical function – maintaining muscle strength and joint  flexibility can be a way of helping people maintain independence for longer
  • helping to keep bones strong and reducing the risk of osteoporosis  (a disease that affects the bones, making them weak and more likely to break)
  • improved cognition – recent studies have shown that exercise may  improve memory and slow down mental decline
  • improving sleep
  • opportunities for social interaction and reducing the feeling of  isolation
  • reducing the risk of falls – physical activity can improve strength  and balance, and help to counteract the fear of falling
  • enhanced confidence about the body and its capabilities – through  improved body image and a sense of achievement.

Before you start

When thinking about exercise, it is important to consider the person’s abilities, needs and preferences. Some people will have participated in regular exercise over the years and the concept will not be new, while others might have exercised very little.

People who have not taken part in any formal exercise for some time or those with any of the health issues listed below should seek medical advice from their GP or relevant healthcare professional before commencing any new physical activity:

  • heart problem
  • high blood pressure
  • unexplained chest pain
  • dizziness or fainting
  • bone or joint problems (that exercise may make worse)
  • breathing problems
  • balance problems
  • frequent falls.

These health conditions might not stop someone from participating in exercise, but professional advice is recommended.

It is important to choose activities that are suitable and enjoyable. Exercise can be done on a one-to-one basis or in a small group. Some people may like to try a few different activities to see what suits them best. contact Leigh to discuss what`s best for you and your needs fit4life@live.co.uk

Exercise in the early to mid stages of dementia

There are many suitable exercise sessions within the T&W aera  that may be beneficial for people in this stage of dementia. Local community classes in sheltered housing schemes, church halls  offer organised exercise and physical activity sessions such as seated exercises,with or without music and dance, Some of these activities can be modified and carried out at home. contact Leigh at fit4life@live.co.uk re; one-to-one session at home,  In addition, walking, gardening and housework are also good forms of exercise.


Gardening is a physical activity that provides an opportunity to get outdoors and is enjoyed by many people. The activity can be varied to suit the person’s abilities – from general tidying to weeding, raking up leaves and watering the plants. There is also the satisfaction of watching the plants grow and enjoying their colours, smells and textures. Gardening can be an enjoyable activity for people at all stages of dementia.

Music and dance

Dancing to music can range from structured tea dances, and couple or group sessions, to more improvised movement involving ribbons, balloons or balls. Dancing to music can also be done in a seated position. Music can trigger past memories and emotions, which can be shared. This is a very social activity and an enjoyable way to participate in exercise. It can increase strength and flexibility, help with staying steady and agile, and reduce stress. contact Leigh for times and Venue`s for sessions using music fit4life@live.co.uk

Seated exercises

People with dementia can benefit from a regular programme of seated exercise sessions at home or with a group at a local class. These exercises are aimed at building or maintaining muscle strength and balance, but are less strenuous than exercises in a standing position. Some examples of seated exercises include:

My weekly session at the Millbrook Day centre

My weekly session at the Millbrook Day centre

  • marching
  • turning the body from side to side
  • raising the heels and toes
  • bending the arms
  • bending the legs
  • clapping under the legs
  • bicycling the legs
  • making circles with the arms
  • raising the opposite arm and leg
  • practising moving from sitting to standing.


Swimming, under supervision, is a good activity for people with dementia. While there is limited scientific evidence of the benefit, many people find the sensation of being in the water soothing and calming.


Walking can suit all abilities. It is free, does not need specialist equipment and can be done anywhere. The distance and time spent walking can be varied to suit your fitness levels. one-to-one walking sessions or small group sessions can be arranged contact Leigh fit4life@live.co.uk  for further information

What is the right amount of activity in the early to mid stages of dementia?

People who are not currently active should be doing about 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week .This can be broken up into shorter sessions throughout the day, for example, a 15 minute walk to the local shops and then housework or gardening tasks in the afternoon. Regular physical activity is recommended to maximise benefits.

Exercise in the later stages of dementia

Physical activity can also be beneficial in the later stages of dementia . It may help to reduce the need for more supported care and minimise the adaptations needed to the home or surroundings. Exercises can range from changing position from sitting to standing, walking a short distance into another room or moving to sit in a different chair at each mealtime throughout the day.

Suggested exercises in the later stages of dementia

  • When getting up or going to bed, move along the edge of the bed, in  the sitting position, until the end is reached. This helps exercise the muscles needed for standing up from a chair.
  • Balance in a standing position. This can be done holding onto a  support if necessary. This exercise helps with balance and posture and can form part of everyday activities such as when showering or doing the  washing up.
  • Sit unsupported for a few minutes each day. This exercise helps to  strengthen the stomach and back muscles used to support posture. This  activity should always be carried out with someone else present as there  is a risk of falling.
  • Lie as flat as possible on the bed for 20-30 minutes each day. This  exercise allows for a good stretch and gives the neck muscles a chance to relax.
  • Stand up and move regularly. Moving regularly helps to keep leg muscles strong and maintain good balance.

What is the right amount of activity in the later stages of dementia?

People in the later stages of dementia should be encouraged to move about regularly and change chairs, for example, when having a drink or a meal. There should be opportunities to sit unsupported (as far as possible) with supervision on a daily basis. A daily routine involving moving around the home can help to maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility.

When is exercise not appropriate?

If you experience pain while taking part, or after increasing activity levels, stop the exercise and seek medical advice.

Physical activity is not recommended for people who feel tired or unwell. if your unsure contact Leigh fit4life@live.co.uk

Exercise and well-being

A healthy lifestyle includes physical activity as part of a daily routine which will help to maintain well-being for as long as possible. Physical activity creates valuable opportunities to socialize with others and can help improve and maintain a person’s independence, which is beneficial both to people with dementia and their careers.

Every person is unique and will have different levels of ability and activities they enjoy. If you want to find out more about suitable exercise and physical activities in the Telford and Wrekin area please contact me fit4life@live.co.uk

My FREE Leaflet “Back off the Floor”

Hi all, what an interesting week I`ve had delivering my new work shop on how to get “Back off The Floor”  a lot of my participants do realise the benefits of exercise and many now say that they now really enjoy exercise and they look forward to our weekly sessions, and they have now also  cooperated walks  into their regime on a nice afternoon or on an evening, walking to the shops or a spot of gardening, But one thing most people hate doing post a certain stage in their lives is ” To get down on the Floor” it`s a dread that you can see on everyone’s face when I mention it, how sad it is when a person drops something and they ave to wait until a visitor comes around to pick it up for them, all because of the fear that if they finally do get down on the floor, they know they are certain that they will never be able to get Back up off the floor with out a team of firemen lifting them back up! Very extreme thinking but very true!     Unknown

Here is a little gift i have for you a leaflet for you to print off and keep it give advice on how to stand out of a chair without asking some one for help! it`ll will show you how to get on and off the floor safely and how to manoeuver around the floor

this is my step by step guide “Back Off the Floor”

if you are concerned about how to get  down and “back Off the Floor” or if you would like to Host a workshop at your work place residential housing scheme or nursing home please contact me fit4life@live.co.uk  or call 07865081598 for details

Back off the Floor leaflet