Exercise for Specific Groups
Exercise Within The Community - Is there enough?
What is exercise for specific groups?
In particular, a great number of activities are available for younger children such as; softplay, parent and toddler joint swim sessions and school holiday activity sessions. The 'little squirrels' softplay area at Blyth sports centre and 'zoo' at Cramlington leisure centre are new and exciting areas great for 0-7 year olds, which is available for both the public from £2.60 per hour and also for private hire - costing from just £50 to hire out per hour for your children's own use - which is perfect for large birthday parties! Swimming at these centres' are also very accessible as it is FREE for Under 5's and just £2.10 for children 5+!
The swimming pools at these centres are another way for disabled people of all ages to gain access to physical exercise and have fun with access costing just £2.10 per session with specialist equipment provided.
The Exercise Referral Process
Exercise referral schemes are designed to help people who would benefit from regular exercise. They are aimed at people with medical conditions that put their health at risk and people who are at risk through a non-active lifestyle. This is put into force by The Department of Heath who let local councils run in partnership with local primary care trusts (PCTs) to help provide a service to the public.
The referral process normally beings with an initial consultation at a local clinic who may perform a Par-Q, initial tests and a health screening questionnaire to help analyse what is wrong. This is done to provide contraindications of what can and can't be done whilst also providing legal protection. Assessments may include; range of movement, blood pressure, resting heart rate, BMI, lung function, flexibility and strength. If the initial consultant believes this problem may need further work, then they may refer the individual to a referral professional (eg sports therapist, physiotherapist or general practitioner). This may be free due to a referral through the NHS although if serious, the individual may choose to see a specialist which will also have less waiting time, although, as it is private, it may have a cost. Conditions which may needed referral can vary from; obesity, sedentary, cardiac, pulmonary or metabolic disease, injuries, arthritis, osteoporosis, mobility problems, multiple sclerosis and mental health. All of these conditions will be having an effect on the individuals life and lifestyle which will be causing a discomfort and so the referral must be quick, efficient and help solve the problem. The referral may lead to an exercise prescription which would include giving recommended guidelines and monitoring progress over a number of weeks - usually ten weeks with several sessions per week. During this time, they will also learn how exercise can have a positive effect on health and well-being and so they can see for themselves the benefits of staying fit and healthy.
By doing these changes, the service which is provided is likely to become even more accessible to the public and so will help benefit and provide a service to help the local community become fit and healthy which is the aim of the game! As well as providing a greater amount of activities to help provide a range too suit all needs and adapting the location to suit young children in the holidays by going too them - they could also look into making the groups smaller to help work with the participants individually and gain a better understanding on the sports. They may also look into working with local transport so that access is easier for those people who are unable to drive by seeing if buses can run too match the times of classes, so that individuals are not put off by waiting for long periods of times for buses. They could also look to make the BVAL card help gain discounts on bus journeys to help prevent costs putting off people too.
Overall, BVAL is currently providing an excellent standard of provision of exercise to a variety of people, whilst looking too expand further - however, there are still some changes which can be made to help make the service even more accessible and better!