Friday afternoons at Leep1 was the highlight of everyone’s week. Our Healthy Living sessions with personal trainer and coach Anthony Beardsley were fun, active and educational. Tony, founder of Beyond Inspired believes ‘Health is for Everyone’ and is passionate about helping people and giving opportunities to those who are often over looked.

“The part can never be well
unless the whole is well” Plato

Self-care and fitness is something many of us will admit we need to do more of but it is even more important to promote and educate in the learning disabled community. Excercise and keeping active not only has physical health benefits but is directly linked to mood and mental wellbeing. It is known that even a short burst of 10 minutes brisk walking increases mental alertness, energy and positive mood states.

The mental health of the nation is more of a discussion point than ever before. Lockdown has had a particularly detrimental effect on our members: the drastic changes in routine, loss of sense of purpose, heightened anxiety and the lack of contact with friends and various support networks has been extremely challenging for them to deal with.

Our Facebook Group Page has a busy timetable of activities which helps provide our members with a regular routine. Many activities promote mental wellbeing ranging from relaxing Yoga sessions to creative play in Art and Drama.

The impact of physical activity on wellbeing –

Inspiring and motivating

To help motivate and inspire our members to maintain their physical and mental health through exercise we supported them to start using step counters and Health Apps to monitor their daily activity. Tackling motivation and low mood can be difficult as it is often a cycle that perpetuates itself but by encouraging everyone to share their efforts on the group page we motivate and support each other to reach personal goals. An added incentive was the coveted ‘Active Member of the Week Award’ which is announced every Friday afternoon.

Step counter readings from some of our Members

Virtual Exercise Sessions

Since lockdown we have continued to work with Tony and the sessions are running very successfully on Zoom. The sessions include a lot of exercise but also health check -ins and tips on healthy eating. Tony is brilliant at motivating the group and it is really encouraging to see that Friday afternoons is still one of the highlights of the week.