WE all know that Joe Wicks has turned into the nation’s PE teacher with his morning fitness classes on YouTube putting children and parents through their paces.

But it is important our older folk get some exercise during the coronavirus lockdown too.

So fitness instructors at care provider Belong have stepped up to launch a YouTube channel to keep their clients and the nation’s older community healthy.

The ‘Belong Active’ channel provides access to free, online videos, devised specifically to help older people continue exercising while isolating at home, through a series of standing, sitting and even bed-based routines.

Anthony Harley, lead exercise instructor at Belong, is recording the videos to support residents at the care village in Atherton and others in the group operated by Belong.

On-site gym facilities have temporarily closed.

Anthony said: “We know that our work with residents in the village gyms makes a huge difference to their quality of life, so it was really important to find a way to keep this going, even if we couldn’t access the same equipment.

“We felt inspired by Joe Wicks’ online PE lessons for the nation’s schoolchildren and thought: ‘why not do the same for older people?'”

The not-for-profit care provider’s Belong Active channel consists of a variety of routines, designed to improve both physical and emotional wellbeing.

Activities are targeted to specific muscles, such as arms, hands, legs and hips, aiding recovery from operations and reducing stiffness and pain.

Building strength, balance and coordination, they also help reduce the risk of falls at this critical time.

Doctors have also stressed the importance of exercise for mental health during the lockdown.

Aside from these health benefits, daily exercise can enhance mood, improve sleep and provides stimulating activity, all of which have been shown to boost the wellbeing of older people, many of whom remain socially isolated from their loved ones.

Anthony added: “The videos have been well-received by residents, who now have the basics they need to continue their daily exercise routines, no matter where they are.

“Even short daily sessions can improve mobility and help older people retain their independence, so we hope more people will take advantage of this valuable, free resource.”

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