FENLANDER: New fitness class at leisure centres for people known to be suffering from heart problem

NEW fitness classes are being offered to anyone who is known to be suffering from a heart problem or simply feels they would benefit from an hour of gentle exercise.

The Healthy Heart classes are taking place at Fenland District Council’s three leisure centres and are led by five fully trained instructors. They are aimed at helping three kinds of people:

• Individuals who have suffered a heart attack or have been diagnosed with some other cardiac condition. For them they are a follow-up to the six-week programme of gentle exercise normally carried out in hospital under a cardiac nurse’s supervision.

• Patients who have been referred by their doctors under Fenland District Council’s GP Referral scheme.

• People who simply want to improve their general health and wellbeing – for example by losing weight, lowering their cholesterol level or reducing high blood pressure.

The classes are aimed particularly at patients with more serious heart conditions to enable them to feel safe exercising with like-minded people in a secure environment.

Participants are closely monitored by the instructors, all of whom have been given extensive training funded by the British Heart Foundation.

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Before joining, each person gets an individual assessment at which their target training heart rate is calculated and other medical issues are raised. That determines the intensity of their exercises and identifies any individual needs.

Diane Card, the British Heart Foundation’s community development manager (East), said: “These classes are designed to help people who perhaps wouldn’t know the best way to exercise or don’t have the confidence because they are afraid of making their condition worse. But they are also good for anyone who just wants a little bit of gentle exercise followed by a nice cup of tea!”

FDC Cabinet member Councillor Ken Mayor praised the classes after taking part in one at the Manor. He is currently recovering from a minor stroke suffered in November when he was returning from a holiday in the United States.

He said: “Obviously, I have to take things a little easy at the moment and this sort of class is perfect for that. There’s nothing too strenuous about the exercises – they just get you moving and keep you supple. I found the class really useful – and it’s fun, too.”

• For details of the “Healthy Heart“ classes, call your local leisure centre: Manor, Whittlesey (01733 202298); George Campbell, March (01354 622399); Hudson, Wisbech (01945 584230).

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