People in Fife with long-term health conditions are being offered lockdown activities to help keep them fit.
More than 200 people a week are benefiting from Fife Sports and Leisure Trust’s outreach programme while its centres are closed.
Instructors are offering socially distanced outdoor walks and online classes to those living with conditions such as cancer, dementia, diabetes and heart problems.
Classes via social media are also provided, along with phone calls and emails with suggested physical activity sessions.
The videos are like having a personal trainer in the house.”
Pat Parker, Glenrothes.
In addition, participants have been given their own exercise bands bought with funds raised by the trust’s charity, the Fife Health and Wellbeing Fund.
The fund is continuing to raise money so even more people can benefit from the equipment.
The activities are offered to those who have been referred to classes by their doctors.
Centres have been closed since Christmas because of Covid-19 restrictions.
This means people have not been able to talk to trusted instructors or enjoy moral support from other participants.
Health and wellbeing programming manager Fiona Prendergast said: “The people who attend our health and wellbeing programme tend to be older adults who have been referred to the classes by their GP or hospital-based clinician.
“The programme has a track record of alleviating participants’ symptoms as a direct result of taking part in supervised, specially-designed physical activity sessions.
“But it’s not just about physical results.
“Participants regularly report that they experience mental wellbeing benefits because of the interaction with others who are experiencing similar situations.
“We are very grateful to people who have contributed to our Fife Health and Wellbeing Fund as this has helped us deliver the outreach programme and maintain contact with this very important user group.”
‘Brilliant to get going’
Michael Low, who normally attends Duloch Leisure Centre in Dunfermline, is among those benefiting from the outreach programme.
He said: “It’s brilliant to get going again and see familiar faces after a long break.
“I can’t wait for next week’s class.”
Pat Parker from Glenrothes, added: “Before lockdown I was more active, which helped my underlying health issues.
“As I’m no longer able to do the same level of exercise from home, the videos are like having a personal trainer in the house.”
The classes are in addition to the trust’s regular fitness programme,