Res­i­dents and friends step to it to join keep-fit chal­lenge

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP -

RES­I­DENTS at a care vil­lage climbed nearly 200,000 steps as part of a keep-fit chal­lenge.

Ten­ants, rel­a­tives and staff mem­bers from spe­cial­ist care vil­lage Be­long Mac­cles­field in Up­ton Priory joined forces with res­i­dents from four other Be­long vil­lages across the North West to take part in a six week ‘step chal­lenge’.

Par­tic­i­pants pledged to use stairs rather than the lift in or­der to im­prove their strength, mo­bil­ity and over­all well­be­ing.

Cus­tomers at each Be­long vil­lage in Mac­cles­field, Ather­ton, Crewe, Wi­gan and War­ring­ton have been tak­ing part in the chal­lenge af­ter learn­ing that re­search has shown that stair climb­ing in­creases leg power and helps to re­duce the risk of in­jury and falls in older peo­ple.

Tak­ing the stairs rather than us­ing a lift also aids the at­tain­ment and main­te­nance of a healthy body weight.

A to­tal of 110 peo­ple took part in Be­long Mac­cles­field’s step chal­lenge, in­clud­ing 27 res­i­dents who are able to climb stairs due to con­tin­u­ous ex­er­cise train­ing at the vil­lage. To­gether, the par­tic­i­pants climbed a to­tal of 181,520 steps.

Tracy Paine, op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor of Be­long, said: “Ex­er­cise is very im­por­tant for peo­ple of all ages and sev­eral stud­ies have shown that both mus­cle strength and mass can be in­creased at es­sen­tially any age through sys­tem­atic strength train­ing.

“The step chal­lenge has been a fun and en­gag­ing way of en­cour­ag­ing our cus­tomers to ex­er­cise more by us­ing the stairs and we have cer­tainly seen an in­crease in well-be­ing, con­fi­dence and phys­i­cal strength among cus­tomers who have taken part.”

Par­tic­i­pants have been mon­i­tored over the past six weeks, with in­di­vid­ual progress charts and a weekly ‘stand up and go test’, to demon­strate the dif­fer­ence that chang­ing one as­pect of strength train­ing can make.

Be­long fit­ness in­struc­tors have also been on hand to en­cour­age res­i­dents to use the step ma­chines in the vil­lage’s ex­er­cise stu­dio and to help with stair climb­ing.

All Be­long vil­lage res­i­dents, ten­ants and day cus­tomers have ac­cess to an ex­er­cise stu­dio, which is spe­cially equipped to meet the ex­er­cise and ac­tiv­ity needs of older peo­ple.

An ex­er­cise in­struc­tor, ex­pe­ri­enced in work­ing with older peo­ple, helps to de­velop per­son­alised train­ing pro­grammes to im­prove mo­bil­ity and wel­fare.

‘It has been a fun and en­gag­ing way of en­cour­ag­ing our cus­tomers to ex­er­cise more’

Step chal­lenge par­tic­i­pants on the stairs at Be­long Mac­cles­field

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