Huntingdonshire District Council’s One Leisure Active Lifestyles team recognises the importance of healthy living. Through the RightStart exercise programme, the team offers the opportunity for older adults to take up a strength and balance exercise class, known as Postural Stability Instruction (PSI). The progressive falls-prevention class looks to improve strength, balance and postural stability with the aim to reduce risk of falling and maintain an individual’s favoured daily living activities.

The classes are provided by district councils and a local charity as part of the 'Stay Stronger for Longer' campaign run by Cambridgeshire County Council and NHS partners.

Margaret Nunn, 84, has arthritis and described how taking part in the PSI classes has given her a new lease of life. Margaret joined the class at One Leisure St Neots when it restarted after lockdown and now attends weekly with a group of friends. She said: "I can now walk from the house to the shops in St Neots and I couldn't do that a few weeks ago. I have more strength in my legs, and I can climb stairs again."

The 84 year old lost much of her mobility during lockdown but is moving much better now and really enjoying the classes. A new study commissioned by Public Health England revealed that older people experienced a considerable reduction in strength and balance during the pandemic, which in turn increases the risk of falls.

Margaret added: "We have a laugh as well as work hard. The instructor is very good and everyone at the leisure centre is friendly. It’s a great class and it has really helped me."

Executive councillor for community resilience and well-being, Cllr Simon Bywater, said: "Since Covid hit it has become very evident that many people have lost mobility and independence as a result of not being able to get out and about, doing the things they enjoy.

"Here at the council, we believe very strongly in enabling people to get back to these activities enjoyed prior to the pandemic and where possible attend exercise classes.

"A very important part of this is to help individuals build on strength, improve balance and increase general mobility.

"This class in particular helps to build that confidence, and if in the unfortunate situation an individual falls they have the effective strength conditioning to assist."

To find out more information about the exercise classes, or other activities Active Lifestyles offer visit our webpage or call 01480 388111. You can also follow on social media - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Read the full article from Margaret, Arthritic pensioner's new lease of life thanks to mobility classes.