In a bid to keep people moving, a national charity is offering free exercise classes for people in Powys living with arthritis and other conditions.
Organised by Cymru Versus Arthritis - as part of its Welsh Government funded CWTCH project - a six-week course in Pilates will be held online, designed for those with arthritis as well as musculoskeletal conditions or related issues such as gout, fibromyalgia, hypermobility and lupus.
The classes are being highlighted by the Welsh Government’s Help Us Help You campaign which aims to encourage everybody to make small and easy-to-achieve lifestyle changes which can make a big difference to our health and wellbeing.
These free online sessions are open to adults of any age in Powys but spaces are limited. They will take place every Tuesday between 11.30am – 12.30pm from 22 February to 29 March.
Versus Arthritis’ Zoe Thomas is a Service Coordinator for Powys:
“Often when we are in pain or we have a long-term condition, we stop moving because we worry we’ll aggravate it further. However, the research shows us that exercise really helps. We have run similar courses in Tai Chi and yoga which have proved really popular. Our hope is that if we offer different types of exercise, people will give them a try and hopefully carry on after our online sessions.”
Pilates focusses on balancing the body and improving your posture which is particularly helpful as we get older as it can reduce the risk of falls. It can also improve your mental wellbeing.
Sandi Coppi, 75, lives in Montgomery and is Versus Arthritis’ Lead Volunteer for the Montgomery OUCH Support Group. She says:
“I’ve had arthritis since I was in my forties and I have tried everything! Sometimes, you can be in so much pain that it’s hard to move but once you make yourself, you’re in a better place and you can move more easily. The important thing is to keep up the exercise.
“I started the Ouch group four years ago because I know a lot of people in Montgomery who live with arthritis and it’s a great way to meet new people. Covid has disrupted things over the last couple of years so we are really excited to get back to normal and we’re really pleased that we can continue with online classes.”
Aled Falvey is the Professional Head of Physiotherapy at Powys Teaching Health Board. He says:
“Moderate exercise plays a key role in managing joint pain and stiffness. It increases strength and flexibility and helps combat fatigue.
“Musculoskeletal problems affect many people and this may be a growing issue in the future as more people work from home. The natural breaks from our desk for lunch or chats with colleagues are disappearing so I would encourage people to get up and move more. Not only can you prevent problems with exercise but you can also manage certain conditions. Pilates is a great way for people to improve their strength, balance and range of motion.”
Versus Arthritis also run face-to-face support groups at venues across Powys where you can meet others in your local area. They also have a huge range of online, bitesized movement, dance and stretching exercise videos as part of the Let’s Move series – so if Pilates is not your thing then you can still benefit from movement and exercise when and where it suits you. Let's Move with Leon | Versus Arthritis
If you want to make small changes to kickstart your journey to a healthier lifestyle, but don’t know where to start go to the Living and Feeling Well pages on the NHS 111 Wales website for tips and advice. Every change you make will help us help you.