It’s still January and there’s plenty of time to put those great new year resolutions about taking more exercise into practice.
Indeed, I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to not living up to my plans for more exercise.
However, with the launch of a new GP Exercise Referral exercise programme, the time for excuses is over.
Anyone anxious to get fit, lose weight, and feel healthier, has all the help and motivation they will ever need thanks to this initiative by Mayo GPs and the HSE.
In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that the GPs in County Mayo are set to tell their patients “to take a run and jump” as part of the exercise regime.
This new programme is the first of its kind in Mayo and is based in the Breaffy Club, Castlebar.
The patients are usually referred to a 12-week exercise programme under the guidance and instruction of a fully trained exercise co-ordinator at a mutually agreeable cost.
This is a real opportunity for patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle whilst also taking any medical conditions into consideration.
The programme will help people who are over 18 years of age and are eager to become more active in their daily lives, but who are unsure how to go about it.
The common reasons for referrals are high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stress, asthma, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, depression, back pain and high cholesterol.
How Christine lost 12 kgs in two months
Christine, a patient already working with Cathy, noted that ‘having someone to work with who is highly skilled helped me to adopt an activity regime which helped me to lose 12 kgs in two months. Not only did I manage to improve my health but I feel that I now have the ability to continue being active on my own.’
The local exercise coordinators have completed a national training course designed by the Irish College of GPS, the HSE and the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management.
This means that they possess both the clinical and psychological knowledge and expertise to help patients develop a healthier lifestyle and the motivation to stay active.
Cathy Geraghty, Local Exercise Coordinator explains: “Following an initial assessment carried out by the coordinator, the programme will focus on the type of activity that you enjoy and it will be based on your requirements and time commitments.
Motivation to get active and to stay active
“Over the 12 weeks, support will be given to you to engage in changing your behaviours, advise you regarding your medical condition and provide motivational support so that on completion of the 12 weeks you have all the skills you need to stay active and healthy.”
Dr. Brid O Malley states that this is a wonderful programme because “it will provide patients with the information, knowledge and, most importantly, motivation to get active and to stay active. It will hopefully assist many people in the prevention and management of chronic disease.”
Any GP who would like to register onto the programme should contact HSE West Health Promotion Services on 091-737261.