New exercise classes help care home residents stay fit

Carly Taylor (right) with residents of Abbeyvale Care Centre.
Carly Taylor (right) with residents of Abbeyvale Care Centre.

A CARE home is keeping its residents fit with armchair exercise classes.

Abbeyvale Care Centre, which has 48 residents, invited Nouveau Dance and Fitness Instructor Carly Taylor to introduce chair exercises.

Chair exercise is recognised as a way of helping improve the health and fitness of the elderly in a safe manner.

Julie Shield, manager at the centre in Blackhall Colliery, said: “The residents really enjoyed the class which saw them get active and exercise in a very safe and secure environment.

“We are hoping to make the class a regular event and I have every confidence that it will improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of the residents here at Abbeyvale.

“The expertise and experience that Nouveau Dance and Fitness have made it a perfect partnership for us with our residents in mind.”

Bosses say studies have noted that seated exercise lubricates joints and keeps them flexible, strengthens muscles and improves blood circulation.

It is also known to help cope with conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Carly, 25, from Peterlee, said: “The class at Abbeyvale were a great group to work with as they were enthusiastic and the staff were very helpful and encouraging with the residents.

“Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is very beneficial to elderly people as it maintains independence and mobility, as well as providing a fun and enjoyable past time.”

Carly’s class included flexi band exercises and Zumba style dancing from the comfort of a chair as participants were encouraged to stretch their arms and legs through aerobic style movements.

Abbeyvale is run by Executive Care, which has been encouraged to implement the classes in their homes after the success of the introductory session.

David Harrison, chief executive of Executive Care, said: “Our care home managers and activities teams do a fantastic job of organising events with our residents’ best interests at heart.”