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Communities Staying Active

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communities staying active

In recent weeks exercising outside in the usual way or attending your favourite activities just hasn’t been possible. Physical Activity and Sport Project Manager, Suzie Munnery, talks about how the current situation has emphasised the important role of physical activity in all our daily lives, and looks at some of the fantastic ways community partners are supporting local people to stay active.

Move More  

To stay healthy, adults should do some type of physical activity every day, any activity is better than none and it can help boost your mood, self-esteem, sleep, and energy levels. Recent data from Sport England highlighted changing attitudes to being active. New figures showed that almost two thirds of adults in England (63%) say it’s more important to be active now, compared to before coronavirus, and the majority of people (67%) also believe exercise is helping them with their mental health during the outbreak.

We can’t all meet up, but working remotely across our networks, we can share knowledge of the range of initiatives and support available for different age groups and abilities. We’ve updated the One You Hounslow website with over 50 ‘move more’ activities for residents and provided a ‘connect more’ page for advice on taking care of your mind as well as your body while staying at home.

Active People

Organisations across Hounslow are readily adapting, and many groups have already found some new ways to help people to stay active. Brentford FC Community Sports Trust are providing free online classes including a new chair-based class for older residents. They have also been providing #BeeatHome family activity packs, with fun and engaging equipment for all ages and abilities, to residents in the Brentford and Ivybridge estates.

Coaches Ange and Premika are more used to running sessions in parks in Isleworth and Hanworth at the weekend, instead they are encouraging residents to exercise at home via their facebook or YouTube channel. Free exercise sessions are available online for Hounslow residents, including HIIT and Superhero fitness for 3- 11year old’s, all are available via the website.

Active Schools

Of course, everyone will probably by now have heard from the nation’s PE teacher, Joe Wicks, who is helping families at home take part in PE work outs together, every day at 9am. Locally, Reach Academy in Feltham has set up a weekly Health and Wellbeing group, local partners meet virtually to share resources and opportunities that could support young people in and around Bedfont, Feltham and Hanworth.

Sport Impact are well known for supporting PE, Sport and Health in schools across Hounslow. The team have collated some useful resources and created a stay at home challenge to support learning activities whilst at home.

Active Communities

Model City Hounslow projects (Generations Active BFH) have continued to run where possible. Some like ‘Positive Movement’, and ‘Autism Hounslow’ have switched to using Facebook to engage participants. International charity partners, Laureus Sport for Good, have also led webinars involving remote teams across the world and helping to share learning during the crisis.

Disability Sports Coach started online sessions in April to replace their regular weekly DSC Club which takes place in Heston. A weekly timetable of sessions is available and can be accessed online via Zoom. They also supply bespoke home activity cards in a VI friendly format too.

Doing Good whilst Staying Active

In Chiswick, GoodGym runners have been capturing their missions online, like Naomi who ran to collect Mrs. Fs shopping from Tesco, or Luis who’s been running a variety of weekly errands to stay fit and help others.

Friends of St Pauls Recreation Ground in Brentford found a willing volunteer to offer dog walking support to a resident in need, a great example of helping the local community whilst helping others to stay active too!

Given all the overwhelming benefits, we should all be physically activity every day, and many groups, individuals and organisations up and down the Borough are supporting local communities, helping keep us healthy, active and socially connected.

If you would like some top tips to share with your friends, family and neighbours visit NHS Live Well to find out what counts!

We would love to hear your stories and recommendations for One You Hounslow – if you have some time please click here to take part in our short survey.

Suzie Munnery
Physical Activity & Sport Project Manager
Hounslow Council

Photo courtesy of Disability Sports Coach