3 January 2022
Be Active - promoting health, wellbeing, increasing mobility, independence and confidence
Anchor’s Resident Involvement & Wellbeing Project Lead, Lauren Smith talks about Anchor’s free, comprehensive wellness and movement programme Be Active and invites you to give it a go.
What is Be Active?
As an organisation with almost 60 years of experience working with older people, we have been extremely alert to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, on the people who live with us, and the risks associated with social isolation and reduced physical and mental exercise to wellbeing.
Be Active is our comprehensive wellness and movement programme which we launched in August 2020 to try and to empower older people to take control of their physical and mental wellbeing and make positive changes in their lives, during and beyond the lockdown situations we have faced.
The aim of the Be Active programme is not only to promote health and wellbeing, but also increase mobility, independence and positively impact the lives of the older adults living with Anchor. This includes improving strength, co-ordination, balance – and confidence.
Be Active offers a range of online resources including exercise routines, yoga videos, podcasts, and tips on how to keep the mind and body active. We want to support residents to look after their health and wellbeing and through Be Active will demonstrate how we can all make small changes to ensure this becomes part of our everyday lives and existing routines.
We have also created three Be Active Booklets for those that do not have access to a digital device. The booklets are designed to be a simple guide to the many facets of physical activity and fitness for older people. The booklets are Be Active Exercises (standing based), Be Active Chair Based Booklet and The Benefits of Fitness Booklet. 10 copies of The Benefits of Fitness have been distributed to each of the 1,574 housing communities to share with residents. These resources help us to raise awareness and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Who can benefit from the Be Active resources?
All our exercises are suitable for those standing and chair based, so suit all abilities.
You can find all our pre-recorded content on our website here and watch and listen when you have time.
We are also currently hosting three live virtual exercise sessions a week on Zoom and everyone is welcome to join in and participate. Taking place every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 11am, simply email us at [email protected] to get the Zoom access details.
Meet some of the people enjoying Be Active
But don’t just take my word for it, I’ve asked some of the regular attendees to the Be Active live sessions to share how getting involved has made a difference to them.
Elieen’s views on Be Active
As I approach my 80th birthday I realise more and more just how important regular gentle exercise is to keep me flexible and to maintain good balance.
My long-term inflammatory arthritis means that it is very important for me to keep my body mobile. It can get very boring doing daily exercises indoors on my own especially under COVID restrictions, and when I am not able to go to local classes.
It is such a joy to be able to Zoom in at least once a week to the Anchor classes and join in with other residents. The group energy is so uplifting and I always feel so much better, not just in body, but in mind and spirits, after a gentle workout. Those of you who haven’t tried the classes yet don’t know what you are missing!
Hetty’s views on Be Active
Hetty joins her estate communal sessions three times a week, and is on the left of this picture, alongside her neighbour Sally.
Prior to the pandemic, Hetty was active and used to go for several walks around the garden however, this came to a stop with the lockdowns. I asked Hetty what being active means to her; she said:
It is important to keep moving, not just sitting in the chair. Once Be Active was explained to me by the Manager, I knew I wanted to get involved. Plus, it’s free!
During the pandemic and the lockdowns, I was unable to socialise with my neighbours. I love to mix with people and chat to others. I feel like I can get depressed at times so these exercise sessions give me the opportunity to do that again.
Dorothy’s views on Be Active
Today I joined in with the Be Active 'Workout Wednesday' session with Para Dance UK and I really enjoyed it with exercises to Cliff Richard songs. He was my idol when I was a teenager, my dad allowed me to have only one poster on the wall and it was him.
Tomorrow, I am going to give try the 'Feel Good Thursday' Nia exercise session, as I have a lot of anxiety and stress to get rid of!
Find out more about Be Active, including links to our free online resources here: https://www.anchor.org.uk/existing-residents/be-active
Lauren Smith is Anchor’s Resident Involvement & Wellbeing Project Lead