Exercise Provision

For Specific Groups and Benefits of Exercise

Older Adults

There are different groups that have different abilities. Older adults 50+ are at that stage where they don't want to take part in any sports that are too vigorous, they want to be able to have fun while doing some sort of sport that doesn't require a lot of work. They have reached that point where they don't have the aerobic endurance like they used to or they can lift as much as they used to when they were younger. I have been looking at different activities which could get these type of people involved in sport and get them to have fun.


One of the activities I found was 'OWLS', this is an older woman's leisure session. This session is public. This session consists of aerobic exercise for those who are over 50 to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. The session is on a Monday 10am until 11:30 am, at the centre for sport. This session lasts an hour and a half and then the session is followed by a friendly chat over hot drinks and biscuits. Some of the strengths of this session are;

  • Keeps them active while socialising.
  • It isn't too strenuous as it is focused towards the older population.
  • Helps them to meet new people which will stop them feeling lonely.
  • The session is free.

There are also some disadvantages about this session;

  • They may find it difficult to get to the destination of the session.
  • The session is only on a Monday morning, which is a disadvantage because some of the individuals might not be able to make the Monday morning session as they might be doing something on that day. To improve this, there could be more sessions on throughout the week so more people can attend.

Wonder Walks

There is another session for older adults and this is called 'Wonder Walks' this is a session that will last no longer than an hour. This session is public. This session gives everyone a chance to get out into the open and meet new people. This session occurs every Monday 2pm - 3pm. The walking routes are in and around Newcastle. Some of the strengths of this session are;

  • Its free!
  • Older adults can socialise and make new friends whilst competing at a low intensity exercise which is suited to their age.
  • This session caters for all abilities.
  • There is a buddy system within this session which allows individuals to pair up, instead of them walking by themselves.
  • There is plenty of different bus and metro routes to get to the session which all have free travel.

There are also disadvantages of this session, these are;

  • The session should happen more than once a week, in case some people cant make it on that day or time.
  • The walk may get called off depending on how bad the weather is.
  • For those that need the toilet on the walk, there wont be any toilet access.

Both of these sessions are for people who are over the age of 50 and who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are both sessions which allows older individuals to meet new people who are at the same level of physical activity. This will make individual feel more confident in themselves as there will be other individuals who have the same abilities. Both of these sessions focus on aerobic fitness. This is a good type of exercise to be doing but I also think that this could be improved by doing anaerobic exercise too as it will make each session more fun and exciting. Both of these sessions are also on a Monday. This can be a disadvantage though as they could be on different days. This would benefit more people over the age of 50. Even though, they are on the same day but at different times, it is very unlikely people at that age will do one class after another. Having them on different days would also be beneficial because those who do the 'OWLS' session would also be able to take part in the 'Wonder Walks' on a different day. These sessions are also very different as 'OWLS' is an indoor session which focuses on aerobic fitness and 'Wonder Walks' is an outdoor activity session which also focuses on aerobic fitness as it is all about walking. The main disadvantage about this session would be the weather. If it rains, the session might still continue depending on how bad the rain is and if we can overcome this.

Both of these sessions had more strengths than weaknesses which is an advantage as no one would want to be attending a session what has more weakness than strengths. There are some similarities in the strengths. Both of these sessions are free which is good because those who don't have a lot of money and for those who don't work wont have to worry about money that much, the only exception is travel money, getting public transport will cost unless they get a lift to the session by someone they know. Both of these sessions are an opportunity for people over the age of 50 to meet new people and make new friends who they might keep in touch with for a while after the sessions. As I said before it will make individuals meet others who are at the same ability and near about the same age. None of the sessions are too strenuous, both of the sessions are a calm and fun way of staying healthy and staying involved in physical activity. It is not likely that people at this age would be able to do strenuous exercise as their bones are not as strong as they used to be when they were younger and they wont have as bog of an aerobic capacity. As for the disadvantages, 'Wonder Walks' has three disadvantages where as 'OWLS' only has two. One of their disadvantages for both sessions are the same. The day the session is on. First of all, for people over the age of 50, there may not be as much sessions for them as there will be for young children. As both of these sessions are on the same day, individuals will have to make a decision on whether to attend the 'OWLS' or 'Wonder Walks'. As we have looked into both of the sessions, both of them are good to get involved in and those who are over 50 will be missing out on either one of them unless they were to attend both, which is unlikely. This can be improved by changing one of the sessions to a different day as this will encourage more individuals to attend to both. Those who chose to attend 'Wonder Walks' are not certain whether they will be able to go on a walk every week as it will depend on the whether. This can be improved by having a back up plan, if one week it was to rain and they knew that they wouldn't be able to go on a walk they should have a back up plan and do an exercise session indoors. This way it will not matter about the weather. For example, indoors, they could do a multi skills session which would be fun, also they could play different sports for example, tennis. This will give the 'OWLS' an advantage as more people will look into this and think the best option is to go for the 'OWLS'. Furthermore, since 'Wonder Walks' is an outdoor activity, there will be no toilets depending on where about on the walk they are. As these individuals are over the age of 50, they will have a weaker bladder therefore it is very likely that they will need the toilet when they are out. This will also give 'OWLS' an advantage as this is an indoor activity in which has facilities such as changing rooms and toilets to access.

Benefits Of Exercise

  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • Prevents loneliness
  • Lowers the risk of some cancers
  • Helps improve the immune system


There are many different company's who are raising money, trying to get easier access, and better facilities for disabled people. As disabled people cant do the same things as other individuals can, depending on their condition. They need to be able to go to a session which is just for them, and meet new people which have the same or similar condition, which will make them feel comfortable and happy.

Wheelchair Basketball

I have been looking at different sessions in which people like this can get involved in and have a good time. The first one I was looking at was 'Wheelchair Basketball' at sports central. This is a partnership session. It is on for an hour on a Tuesday 7:45pm - 8:45pm. This session only costs £1 per person. Sport central is a good facility to use as the building allows access for those in wheelchairs, for example a ramp instead of stairs, level access, toilets are accessible, changing rooms are accessible, braille for those who can see, and a hearing system for those who cant hear very well. There are strengths of this wheelchair basketball session, those are;

  • The session doesn't cost much as it is only £1.
  • There are a range of different facilities to use which allows for all kinds of disabilities.
  • Competitive.

There are also some weaknesses for this session, these are;

  • The game itself doesn't cater for all disabilities.
  • The game requires a lot of equipment.
  • The session is only on one day a week.
  • Requires skill to play.
  • Doesn't have different age of ability levels.

Lucky Stars Activities

There was also another session I found which would be good to get those who do have a disability involved in sport, keeping healthy and fit whilst also making loads of new friends. This session is public. This session is called 'Lucky Stars Activities'. This session takes place at Benfield on a Saturday for 2 hours 10am - 12pm. This session costs £3 per person. This session require voluntary helpers who get to access this session for free. There are some strengths about this session and these are;

  • There are bus and metro routes available.
  • Benfield has easy wheelchair access for example ramps instead of stairs.
  • Those who take part will be able to socialise and make new friends.
  • There are a variety of different activities to take part in.
  • This session cater for all abilities.
  • There are disabled toilets and changing rooms.

There are also some disadvantages about this session;

  • Public transport can get busy and so it can be difficult to get allocated disabled seats. in order to improve this, a shuttle bus could be put on.
  • The cost of both the session and the transports getting to and from the session can all add up and become very expensive.

Those two activity sessions I have been looking at for those who have a disability are both good to attend. As for the 'Wheelchair Basketball' this session is focused on one main game where as the other session involves a range of different activities. As people in this category can only do a certain amount of sports, it is good that the 'Lucky Stars Activities' does a range of different activities. This will give everyone a turn at playing a different kind of sport each week. Both the 'Lucky Star Activities' and 'Wheelchair Basketball' sessions think about those who are in a wheelchair and for those who cannot get up stairs and have replaced stairs with ramps. This is something important to consider. I think that both of these sessions are a good way for making people who do have a disability feel comfortable with themselves around other individuals who also have a disability. These sessions are made for people like this to make new friends and feel confident about themselves. Both of these sessions have their similarities and differences. Both of these sessions are similar in the fact that they both cost to get in. This could be improved by reducing the prices of the sessions, even making the sessions free, this will benefit those who don't have a lot of money. There are also different as 'Wheelchair Basketball' is cheaper but 'Lucky Stars' is one for two hours where as the basketball is only on for one hour.

These sessions also have their strength and weaknesses. Looking at 'Lucky Stars Activities' they have a lot more strengths compared to 'Wheelchair Basketball' this could be because 'Lucky Stars' is focused on a range of different activities. This is better as everyone gets a taster on different sports and they could all talk about which one they think is right for them, which one they think is more fun. 'Lucky Stars' costs more than the basketball and this could be because it is on for longer which gives the session an advantage. This gives more time for people to make new friends and have a good time. I believe that 'Wheelchair Basketball' would get quite boring compared to 'Lucky Stars' as they only focus on one activity. I feel like 'Lucky Stars' will be more exciting and fun because each week they will be paying a different activity and not only does it let them have fun, it also gets them to learn about the different sports. At both sessions there is access to disabled toilets and changing rooms which is definitely beneficial as everyone has their own needs. 'Wheelchair Basketball' doesn't cater for all abilities where as 'Lucky Stars' does. It is important to cater for all abilities so that everyone can get involved. This could be improved as 'Wheelchair Basketball' could not only think about people being in wheelchairs, they could also think about people who have other needs, such as handling the ball or running around the court. Another problem with both of the sessions is that they are only on one day a week. These sessions could be on more than once a week to get more individuals involved as some might not be able to attend those days at those times. This can be improved by making the session happen more than once a week. for example, they could happen 2 or three times a week so it will give those who can make the original day a chance to come along and try it for themselves. Also the cost of everything can become too expensive, paying every week to get into the session and also traveling to the session as well. They could improve this by reducing the prices of the sessions, even if they make them free.

Benefits Of Exercise

  • Reduces depression and stress
  • Helps control weight
  • Improves stamina and muscle strength
  • Makes them feel accepted

Pre and Postnatal Women

During pregnancy exercise can be beneficial to both the mother and the baby. Those who have been keeping fit and health before pregnancy, it will be safe for them to carry on as normal and keep healthy. Whether it is the beginning of the pregnancy or far into the pregnancy, women don't want to be doing any type of strenuous exercise, so we want to keep it calm and relaxing so no damage is done.

Aquanatal Class

I have been looking for different sessions, pre and postnatal women can attend to. They are sessions that keep you fit and healthy. One of the first ones I looked at was the 'Aquanatal Class' which is held at DW sports. This session is public. This session is on for half an hour, every Thursday from 7pm - 7:30pm. This session is free for members of the gym but it costs £3 for non members. This is a safe form of exercise during and after pregnancy. Some strengths of this session are;

  • There are fully accessible changing rooms and toilets.
  • Showers are available for use after being in the swimming pool.
  • Its fun and relaxing.
  • Frees you from the weight of the pregnancy.
  • It is an opportunity to make new friends.
  • It helps to have a shorter active labour.
  • It lowers the chance of assisted or caesarean delivery.

There are also some disadvantages about this session, those are;

  • It might be hard for some women to get there as some may not drive or may live quite far away.
  • Some women might not have the money to pay for the session if they are not members.
  • Its only on one day a week for half an hour.

Active Push

I also found another activity session which is designed for new mums who want to get back into physical activity and getting back into shape after having a baby. This is called 'Active Push'. This is on every Tuesday from 11am - 12pm. This session is public. This session is held in Gosforth. Every class is ran by qualified coaches in post natal. For this session, it costs £20 for 10 sessions with an active Newcastle card which is quite good. This session is effective in reducing symptoms of post natal depression. There are some strengths, these are;

  • The session caters for all abilities.
  • There are baby changing and toilets.
  • You are able to take your child with you so you don't have to look for someone to look after them.

There are also disadvantages about this session, these are;

  • Bus routes, there might not be enough space on the bus for your pram if you are taking your child with you.
  • The cost of the travel and the session can also become expensive.
  • Your child could be a distraction at the session, therefore you wont be able to get on with the session as you might need to assist your child.

Both of these sessions are good. One of the sessions 'Aquanatal Class' allows people who are pregnant and who have just had a baby to join in. On the other hand, 'Active Push' is only for those who have had a baby, those who have just became new mums and want to get back into shape. This can be improved as 'Active Push' could also allow those who are still pregnant to join in, they could hold 2 separate classes. Those who are not pregnant will be doing harder exercises than those who are as the women who are pregnant cannot do a lot of exercise because of the baby. The 'Aquanatal class' is only on for half an hour where as the 'Active Push' is one for one hour, this could be because those who are doing the 'Aquanatal Class' who are pregnant might not be able to carry out exercise for a full hour. This could be improve by making the 'Aquanatal Class' a longer duration which will allow those mums who want to carry on with the session a bit longer and for those who only want to do half an hour they can. Both of these sessions are safe for those who are pregnant, it will not do any harm to the baby and it will benefit child birth, making it that little bit easier and reducing the chance of have a caesarean. Both of these sessions are on different days, one is on a Tuesday and one is on a Thursday, as I have said in the other cateogories, those who cant attend to one can attend to the other one, but this cant happen because 'Active Push' is only for those who have had a baby and want to get back into shape, which means if those who cant attend the 'Aquanatal Class' on a Thursday from 7pm - 7:30pm, they will miss out on meeting new people, making new friends and experiencing this session. This can be improved by 'Active Push' allowing those who are still pregnant to join in with this session also. For both of these sessions, it is advised that you become a member to either get into the session for free or get deals for attending sessions. For example, the 'Aquanatal Class' is free for members of the gym but its costs £3 for non members. The 'Active Push' costs £20 for 10 sessions for members. From looking into this session, I believe that only members can join in with the class, this can be a disadvantage as for those who don't have a lot of money might not be able to pay for a membership which therefore wont be able to experience the 'Active Push' session. To improve this, they could allow non members to join for around about £2-£3 per session.

Each session has there strengths and weaknesses. Some in which are very similar. Starting with the strengths, both in which have accessible changing rooms and toilets. They both have baby changing as well. This is an advantage because for those who are pregnant and for those who have just had a baby will need accessible toilets in case they ever need to go in a hurry. Having baby changing rooms as well as adult changing rooms is also an advantage because women wont have to worry about changing nappies or getting changed themselves. The 'Aquanatal Class' has showers which are good because most women will feel comfortable washing after they have been in the pool. Both of these sessions are fun which is an advantage because it gives the chance for women to have a good time meeting new people and also getting exercise. The 'Aquanatal Class' is relaxing as it is mostly for those who are pregnant this is because they want to keep active but they are not able to do a lot of exercise like everybody else can. The 'Aquanatal Class' will free women from the weight of their pregnancy and it helps to have a shorter and active labour, by doing this class it will benefit women when it comes to them going into labour. This session lowers the chance of caesarean delivery, dong this session may benefit women who are afraid in case they need to get a caesarean, it will reduce the risk of that happening. Both of these sessions however are a great way to make new friends. This is an advantage because most women will see this strength as being the main reason for attending the sessions, to make new friends and stay in touch with some of them. As these sessions are fun and relaxing it will make more women want to attend which will them result in more women attending the sessions every week. The women who attend the sessions and who enjoy them will go back home after the session has finished, advise someone who is pregnant to come and join in. For the 'Active Push' women are allowed to bring their children with them, this is an advantage as they wont have to waste time looking for some one to have their children for a few hours. There are also some disadvantages for these sessions. The cost of the travel and the sessions can all add up. This would make the cost for one day too expensive. To improve this, they could allow non members to join for a cheaper price or even free. There could also be a shuttle bus arranged so, they could all meet up in one place and get picked up to attend the session. By doing this it would only mean that they would have to pay around about £2 each for the shuttle bus which is not a lot. This would also benefit those who live a while from where the session is held as they wont have to travel as far on their own to get to the session. The 'Active Push' allows women to bring their children to the session and this can be an advantage because they wont have to look for a baby sitter but on the other hand, if you take your child to the session with you it is likely that they will distract you. Furthermore, I would suggest that a babysitter is found so women can get the full benefit from the session. As I have been saying in the other two categories (Older Adults and Disabled) each session is only on one day a week. This could be improved by arranging more sessions for different days to allow those who cant make the original session to attend other sessions throughout the week.

Benefits Of Exercise

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Help back and pelvic pain
  • Boosts your mood
  • Helps improve the immune system

The Exercise Referral Process

This is a specific and formalised programme where a professional refers a patient to a fitness programme based within the community. It is usually ran by a local leisure centre within 30 minutes from their home. They will ensure a 12 week supervised programme of physical activity which will be suited to the individual to improve their health. I am going to go through the stages of the exercise referral process.

The first step in this process is initial screening, at this stage referral professionals check an individual through their medical files and complete a range of different assessments to see if they meet their referral criteria. There are different referral professionals, there are GP's, physiotherapists, nutritionists and sports therapists. Each referral professional has referral conditions to deal with for example, some of these could be obesity, mental illness, injuries, mobility issues, metabolic disease, arthritis or osteoporosis. An exercise prescription is then chosen, this prescription is decided based on some tests and an international physical activity questionnaire to try and see what level that individual is at whilst doing physical activity. Recommendations and guidelines given by the referral professional based on the clients contraindications, for example high blood pressure. This also needs to be considered. Next, the client undertakes the exercise prescription over a series of weeks which works different areas of the body. This exercise programme will always be supervised.

Monitoring, during and after the exercise programme it is important to keep checking up on the client to see if they are reaching their goals and to see if they are improving. They will also look to see if their exercise prescription has been beneficial to them and if they are going to keep up the good work. There are different methods that can be used to encourage people to keep exercising. Some of these methods are, making the cost of the membership cheaper to allow those who don't have a lot of money to exercise like everyone else for a small amount of money, this could be changed at local swimming pools and gyms etc. Also different sessions and clubs can also advertise their details and contacts further to allow those who don't know about the club/session to get involved.