A FITNESS class run by an Andover charity is celebrating after seeing significant results in many of its attendees.

The fear of falling, and more specifically the fear of not being able to get back up again following a fall, is often more terrifying for older adults than the possible injuries incurred by a fall.

That’s why techniques to get back up from the floor following a fall is an integral part of Valley Leisure’s Steady and Strong exercise classes.

READ MORE: Classes at an Andover therapy centre to prevent falls are ‘a win-win’

One client, Frances, started the Steady and Strong class to help increase her strength and balance but most importantly to help reduce the chances of her having a fall.

After only six weeks, she has improved her leg strength by being able to complete 10 chair raises in 30 seconds from an initial eight.

In addition to increasing Frances’ leg strength, completing the Steady and Strong classes has had a hugely positive impact upon her life. She said: “The class has given me the techniques to get on and off the floor which is something that has been a concern for me recently.”

Backward chaining is a key skill incorporated into the classes, and means breaking down the movement of getting down onto the floor and then getting back up again into small steps, practicing each step until confidence is gained to progress to the next step.

In time, class participants have the confidence to complete the full movement sequence, a sequence that can be used at home or out and about should a fall occur.

Exercise therapist, Jacob Webb, said: “Being able to get to a place of safety and ideally up off the floor following a fall is absolutely essential to prevent some of the complications that occur when people are stuck on the floor for a long time following a fall, such as dehydration, delayed medical treatment, pressure injuries or even hypothermia.”

He added: “Teaching people to get down and up from the floor using backward chaining is giving people the confidence to maintain their everyday activities and go about their daily lives as they have less fear of falling due to more self-confidence in being able to get back up again.”

SEE MORE: Valley Leisure is seeking new and diverse trustees to help it reach a greater number of residents

Hampshire County Council’s public health team report that nearly 80,000 people aged 65 and over have experienced a fall within the last 12 months across the county, In addition, just over 17,100 calls were made to the Hampshire Ambulance Service in Hampshire in 2017/18 for a falls related incident, but less than half were conveyed to hospital indicating that the majority of people may not have been injured but needed help to get up from the floor.

Valley Leisure’s I Can Therapy Centre team deliver three Steady and Strong group exercise classes per week at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Weyhill Road. Each class lasts one hour.

Classes are delivered as a course of six sessions, costing £36 per course; and are designed to help people improve strength and balance and get up from the floor; enabling people to live independently for longer and avoid falls.

For more information or to book a place on the next courses starting in June, contact I Can Therapy Centre on 01264 568241, email info@icantherapycentre.co.uk or visit icantherapycentre.co.uk.

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