Exercise Provision

For Specific Groups and Benefits of Exercise


Throughout the population there are many specific groups that must have specific needs met. An individual with an illness, injury or impairment is classed as having a disability which is one of the specific groups which need to have more focus placed on them. Some disabilities require an individual to have a wheelchair which can really put a limit to the amount of exercise that individual can do.

One partnership initiative is wheelchair basketball at Sport Central which runs every Tuesday 19:45-20:45 at a cost of £1.00 per session. It allows everyone to be engaged in and enjoy sport whether an individual has a disability or not. There is level access along with automatic doors and ramps and they have accessible toilets and changing facilities. This initiative keeps disabled people active whilst allowing them to socialise and it can also get them into sport, specifically basketball as this is what the initiative focusses on, they could look at putting on other sessions which are focused on other sports as basketball may not be to everyone's taste and it may be easier for others to join in in different sports. There are qualified coaches that run this scheme giving them the full experience and opportunity, it does require a lot of equipment although, Benfield does have this equipment so it shouldn't be a problem. It may be difficult for some people to join in although everyone is welcome and they will aim to let everyone join in where they can. To overcome this problem, they should offer different age and ability groups so that everyone can take the most from this activity possible. The session only runs once a week, similar to most of the initiatives for all groups which means that some people will not be able to participate in the activity every week.

Another initiative for people with disabilities is Lucky Star Activities which is a public provision, its run every Saturday at Benfield Sport Centre. It costs £3 per session and a carer goes in for free and the session lasts for 2 hours. There are disabled access toilets and changing facilities at Benfield with wheelchair access and specialist equipment on site. This initiative has a wide variety of activities such as football, trampolining and judo, they also have activities such as playing with sensory balls in order to cater for everyone that attends the sessions. These sessions allow for individuals with disabilities to socialise amongst other people and make new friends which will encourage them to return which keeps them fit but is also a fun experience. There is disabled parking at the facility and there are also bus and metro routes throughout and local to the area however public transport can become busy so people may struggle to access it sometimes. As this isn't a free scheme, the cost can add up over time and even more so if they have got to use public transport to attend the session.

Benefits of Exercise

Most of the benefits that those with disabilities experience are the same as those who are more ale experience.

Exercise reduces the chance of mental health illnesses such as anxiety and depression, this is because participating in exercise releases hormones from the brain called endorphins which make you feel good about yourself and help boosts self esteem, this is down to the chemicals. Individuals with disabilities may feel down on a daily basis because they may not always be able to join in with certain things or may feel left out so these 'feel good' hormones will be a massive boost for them.

Another benefit is weight control or loss. Being in a wheelchair can increase the risk of weight problems due to not being able to participate in exercise with ease. Having certain sessions dedicated to individuals who are in a wheelchair will help control their weight even if they are restricted to the movements and actions they can do. It will also lower cholesterol which in turn lowers the risk of fatty deposits which build up in the arteries increasing the risk of heart failure and disease. Strength based exercises will increase muscle mass and therefore increase the speed of their metabolism, also promoting weight loss and control.

The social aspect is a great benefit and especially for disabled individuals as they can often feel left out. going to a session with others who are in the same position is an excellent way for them to make friends and socialise which will also improve any feelings of anxiety and depression. It will also help them feel more accepted and like they belong to a group rather than feeling like they are an outsider. Socialising whilst staying fit and healthy will help reduce or even prevent any feelings of depression and stress and gives them something to look forward to each week.

Exercise also promotes good blood circulation around the body which means that oxygen and nutrients will get around the body more quickly and especially the brain. This will reduce the risk of certain diseases or illnesses which disabled people are otherwise more susceptible to for example, kidney disease. As a vast amount of disabled people are often in a wheelchair and immobile, these sessions are a great way to get their blood circulation increased and get the blood pumping more quickly which promotes an overall healthier lifestyle.


Both Wheelchair Basketball and Lucky Star Activities are based at centres with easy, level access and they also both have disabled toilets and changing facilities. Both sessions are only on once per week, the wheelchair basketball is on for one hour (7:45pm-8:45pm) on a Tuesday, on the other hand, Lucky Star Activities is a 2 hour session every Saturday. There is a price difference in the sessions, Wheelchair Basketball is £1 per session whereas Lucky Star Activities is £3 per session. Evidently, Lucky Star Activities is more expensive than the Wheelchair Basketball and the overall price can work out quite expensive if attending each week and also having to use public transport however, Lucky Stars is a multi-activity session with activities such as football and they also have equipment such as sensory balls so they do cater for a wide variety of abilities and ages. Wheelchair Basketball on the other hand only focusses on the one activity and therefore it is not something that everyone can join in and try out. Both sessions are a great way to make new friends and socialise in an environment where they can feel comfortable however, Lucky Star Activities probably outweighs Wheelchair Basketball as it is more diverse and caters for more people, the only downfall of this is that it costs a bit extra but most people will be willing to pay this as there is plenty of choice.

Older Adults

Another specific group is older adults, this is people who are aged 50 and over. This population is a specific group as they may struggle to get into exercise so when there are specific schemes focussed towards older adults it means that it is easier for them to get involved with exercise as well as socialising with others who are like them. These schemes are specific for older adults which means that it will cater to their abilities and it won't be too difficult or strenuous.

The OWLS stands for Older Women's Leisure Session, as it states, it is specifically for women over the age of 50. It is on every Monday based at the centre for sport in the West End of Newcastle from 10:00 till 11:30 and it is completely free. the actual session is only an hour long and it is followed by hot drinks, biscuits and a chat where the individuals can have a catch up and maybe talk about the session. There are toilet facilities which are easily accessible for everyone. As for getting to the venue, there is a lot of public transport options in the area which older people tend to get for free with a pass so it should be easily accessed. There are also parking facilities if they were required. The session involves low intensity exercise which keeps them fit but it is also an opportunity for them to catch up with old friends or even make new friends. One negative aspect of this scheme is that it is only on once per week so if any individual has an appointment or has other commitments then it means that they will miss the weekly session. As this session is specifically for women then it means that men will miss out, this could be viewed both positively and negatively depending on which aspect you look at, it could be seen as a negative aspect of the scheme as it means that men cannot join in and would mean they will have to look elsewhere although it could be positive as the women may prefer the session as it may be a more relaxed environment for them and it could make them feel more comfortable. They could look at running another scheme exactly like this but specific to men to overcome this problem.

Wonder Walks is another free initiative run by volunteers for over 50's however, it is for both men and women and not specifically just women. This session is on every Monday at 1:00 in and around outdoor parks in Newcastle which is lead by 5 people. The scheme allows individuals to socialise and make new friends whilst at the same time allows them to complete some low intensity exercise which is suited to their age and caters for everyone's abilities. As it is based outdoors, it means that those who do join in get plenty of fresh air which they may not have otherwise got if they were to take part in another scheme or not get involved in any scheme at all. This specific initiative has introduced a buddy system, this idea came about so that those who come to the session alone can walk in pairs and small groups or 'buddies' so that they are not alone and can socialise and make new friends. As the scheme is based outdoors there is unlikely to be toilet facilities local to the area but may be some on the odd occasion. There are numerous choices of public transport around Newcastle so getting to the specific area should be easy enough and although it is not guaranteed, there are high chances that there will be parking nearby. This specific scheme is very cost effective, this is because it is outdoors so costs no money to run and does not cost the individuals to partake in the activity. Again, the same issue as the OWLS, it is only on once a week which some people may not be able to attend due to other commitments so they could look into putting on other sessions throughout the week. As the session is an outdoor activity then it will more thank likely be cancelled due to bad weather which may let some of the individuals down so they could look into putting on an indoor session as an alternative if the weather is bad.

Benefits of Exercise

A major thing amongst older adults is loneliness as they can’t often get places to see people and stay in the house away from socialising. Sessions like these are a way for them to make friends and even if it only gets them out of the house for a couple of hours, it may impact them for the full week if they enjoy themselves and will encourage them to get out more often and see friends and family. This has a positive effect on the brain, releasing endorphins and relieving stress and anxiety.

A benefit that impacts everyone but more so older adults is that it reduces the chance or delays diseases which has been proven by scientists. Older adults are more prone to diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis so taking part in exercise will increase bone density, delaying the onset of osteoporosis and so reducing the risk of breaking bones if they fall over. As well as reducing the risk of diseases it also helps overall with things such as high blood pressure and just increasing blood circulation, promoting a healthier brain and organs.

Something that is affected with age is balance, exercise will promote better balance which will lead to a decreased number of falls and therefore broken or damaged bones. Carrying out exercise will slow down the process of ageing and so therefore it will keep them better balance for longer. This will also help with the delay of them possibly have to use walking sticks, Zimmer frames and also wheelchairs in some cases.

Exercise stimulates healthy immune systems as it helps to flush bad bacteria out the lungs and airways which reduces the risk of colds and flu which older people may otherwise struggle to get rid of. Another way it helps with the immune system is by increasing the speed at which antibodies and white blood cells circulate around the body which will detect and fight against illness quicker.


Both the OWLS and Wonder Walks are both sessions that are completely free so the only charge that could incur is the price of travelling to attend the sessions although, free travel is available for older adults so this shouldn't prove to be a problem. Both sessions are only on once a week which is a downfall because if they have other commitments such as appointments then they will have to miss the session. The OWLS session last for an hour and a half overall, one hour is spent doing exercise and then following half an hour is where they can sit and have a chat over a cup of tea and coffee and a biscuit, this is a great benefit of this particular session as it allows them to socialise which they may otherwise not have been able to do. Wonder Walks lasts for no longer than an hour also, this is a very sociable session just like the OWLS as everyone can have a chat as they walk. This is a great benefit of both sessions because sometimes older adults cannot get out and about in order to socialise so as well as exercising it is a great opportunity to meet and make new friends which will help prevent loneliness. As wonder walks is based outside, it holds an advantage over OWLS as it gets them out and about which allows them to get fresh air rather than being kept inside all day. A major downfall of the OWLS is that it is a specific group for older women so men cannot join in, to overcome this, they should look at putting on a session specifically for men. In this light, wonder walks would be more favourable for couples who wanted to take part in a session although the OWLS is good for an older lady who wanted to go with her friends. There is an advantage of having an all-women's group and that is that they may feel more comfortable exercising around all females rather than in a mixed group. Another huge advantage that wonder walks has is that it has a buddy system where if someone was to go alone then they would get paired up or put into a small group so that they were not walking alone. I think overall, the wonder walks session is probably the better session for older adults as it is open to the full population.

Children and Young People

Another specific group within the population is children and young people. This is a very focussed group and there are always new initiatives arising which aim to get children into sport and exercise from younger ages. However, the schemes that are around must be specific to children and young people to ensure that the exercise they are doing will not affect their growth or development. These schemes make sure children and young people are involved in exercise in order to keep them fit and healthy.

No Limits Aqua is a weekly water based session for children and young people under the age of 17. The aim of this initiative is to improve the active and healthy lifestyle of young people. It's on every Friday at Tynemouth Pool from 4;30 till 5:30 and there are other sessions at other leisure centres on different days at different times. It is a free session for young people with ease cards which are free to apply for. There are plenty of bus routes in and around the area with a bus stop right outside of the venue, travel does not cost much for young people and their are different passes available so it is fairly easy to reach the facility. There are toilets and a vast changing area at Tynemouth Pool with lockers to store belongings. It caters for all ages and abilities as there are different size and depth pools, there are also floaters and toys provided at the pool. As there are other sessions throughout the week at other venues it means that if they cannot attend the session at Tynemouth Pool then there are other opportunities throughout the week. This scheme keeps young people active whilst at the same time they are having fun and they have the opportunity to make new friends whilst they're there. Some parents might not be comfortable with children travelling there on their own and they also may worry when they are actually at the swimming pool in case anything happens as they can get quite busy although there are lifeguards at all times. There are parking facilities at the pool if parents take their children themselves and there is a spectating area around the top with seats where they could wait if they wanted to keep an eye on them. As an alternative, there could be arranged transport for the likes of these schemes to ensure that the children get there safely.

Carroty Custards is a public provision which is a play group session with interactive activities and music and dance based games at St Aidan's Church every Friday 10:00 till 11:30. It's for ages 2-5 and it is £3 for toddlers per session and free for babies. There are plenty of travel links in and around the area with 2 bus stops within a 2 minute walk from the venue, there is also a parking area although not a vast amount. The building is easily accessed and there are toilets on site. The cost of this session can add up, especially if someone is taking more than one child at a time and attends every week. They should look into setting up block booking where slightly cheaper prices can be offered. Public transport can be problematic when it comes to getting a seat with a pram so this could prove difficult for some individuals. For those that also have other commitments then it could mean missing out on some sessions so if they prove to be popular then they could look into putting on more sessions during the week to give everyone a choice of when is best for them. With the venue being a church, it will most likely be on the colder side which could be a problem with the children being so young. Although that is a downside to it, this scheme does allow children to be involved with sporting activities from a young age.

Benefits of exercise

Exercise is good for the brain which has been proven as it shows increased performance in class. This is due to it stimulating the formation of neurons and it also enhances substance development which the brain needs to grow. It promotes cognitive performance as well as focus and plenty of other benefits. That is why there is such a big push on PE within school and it is a mandatory part of the national curriculum. It has been found that exercise also helps improve the behaviour in children. PE can help with learning as they can incorporate different areas of the national curriculum into PE lessons.

Although it is obvious, sport and exercise can help promote teamwork in children. This is a key skill to have as it will crop up in everything whether it be in school, for a job or in general life. It encourages communication skills also which is another key skill to behold as this is something else that is crucial in jobs and getting around in day to day life. Learning these skills through sport from an early age embeds them in their head so that they can put them to good use throughout life.

Exercise is important for the strengthening of bones as it enhances the mineral density. Strong bones is crucial for children as they are still developing and growing and having strong bones will inspire a healthy growth. Strength exercises are also important in childhood although it is crucial that they do not over exert as this could stunt growth. Strong muscles also helps with healthy growth and development. This readies children for whatever life throws at them.

Children love fatty and sugary foods which will result in bad health and in some cases obesity. Encouraging exercise from a young age will help in combating this by reducing the sugar accumulating throughout the blood as it encourages the muscles to pick up more glucose from the blood and converts it to energy. Exercise will also control weight and hopefully prevent weight gain. It will also delay the onset of disease.


No Limits Aqua is a great initiative that allows children to exercise whilst also having fun, it also allows for them to practise swimming at the same time without realising it however, as it is water-based, obviously there are limitations to what they can do and for those who can't swim it means they are missing out on socialising with their friends. There are multiple sessions at different venues so getting to one of them should be fine for everyone as there is options for different days and times which is where a lot of initiatives fall down. Carroty Custards is a session that is focussed towards younger children so there is not much similarities between the two sessions, the people that run this session could look into running a youth club session for older children so that everyone can get involved in sport. As for an advantage, Carroty Custards is a great opportunity for young people as there is not a lot of sessions around that are focussed mainly on toddlers and babies, it is a great way to get children involved in sporting activities from a young age and therefore will encourage them to go on to pursue more sport as they grow up. No Limits Aqua is a free session with an ease card although travel may cost. However, there are travel passes available for young people and so it shouldn't be too pricey and so this is a relatively cheap initiative. In comparison, Carroty Custards can cost £3 and upwards per session depending on how many children an individual is taking which with the price of travel, if necessary, can cost quite a bit, especially if attending the session each week. Overall, I think both sessions are excellent for the age ranges they cater for and are both great opportunities to get children into sport and exercise although both do have some small disadvantages.

Exercise Referral Process

The exercise referral process guides individuals that suffer from certain conditions in the right direction when it comes to exercise. This will be a 12 week supervised programme of physical activity suited to the individual to improve their health.

The first step is the initial screening, this is where the individual’s medical files are checked and assessments are completed. The different referral professionals are GP’s, physiotherapists, nutritionists and sports therapists. There are different conditions that they deal with such as obesity, injuries, mobility issues and mental illness plus more. An exercise prescription is chosen after this stage which is based on tests and also an international physical activity questionnaire to judge the level of physical activity they are capable of carrying out. The referral professional will offer recommendations and guidelines dependent on the contraindications of the individual which could be something like high blood pressure which also needs to be taken into consideration. The client will then take part in the exercise prescription over a series of weeks which will work different areas of the body. Supervision is always there over the course of the exercise prescription.

Both during and after the exercise programme, it is crucial to monitor the client to ensure they are reaching goals and they are not over exerting themselves and are actually making progress over the course of the programme. They will also be looking to see whether the programme is actually beneficial to the client because if it is not then it will need to be changed. They will also be looking to see if they are keeping up with the exercise and they will have various ways of encouraging them to keep it up, this would be things such as discounted memberships which means they don’t have to spend as much money, this could be done at leisure centres and gyms. Different clubs can also advertise their details in order for clients to contact them and get involved at different sessions which encourages them to get involved.