Therapy allows you to sit and get fit

EXERCISING while sitting down might sound like a bit of a cop-out but a unique new exercise class in Ipswich involves just that.Sitting Exercise classes started in the town this week but they are not simply an excuse for gym-phobics to cheat their way to health, they are a vital therapy for people with chronic breathing problems.

EXERCISING while sitting down might sound like a bit of a cop-out but a unique new exercise class in Ipswich involves just that.

Sitting Exercise classes started in the town this week but they are not simply an excuse for gym-phobics to cheat their way to health, they are a vital therapy for people with chronic breathing problems.

The classes have been organised by Breathe Easy, a support group for people with long-term breathing problems like asthma.

Peter Woods, secretary of the group, said: “This is the first class of its kind in Suffolk.

“Some nursing homes hold similar things but this is the first one that is open to everybody that thinks they might benefit from it.

“We hope we can make it a regular event.”

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The class involves a series of simple exercises, all done while sitting in a chair or standing at the back of it.

It is divided into various sections concentrating on different parts of the body, and the aim is to give a gentle workout while opening up the lungs.

All the exercises are set to music.

Instructor Maria Cleaver said: “I started off doing this with the residents in the sheltered housing scheme where I work and it has grown from there.

“The PCT have sent me on a couple of training courses and I really enjoy it.

“It's fantastic to see the smiles on people's faces and I've seen some real improvements in the people I've worked with.”

John Meichan, 70, from Felixstowe, has a lung condition called avieolitis.

He said: “I could certainly feel it working my legs.

“I do try to walk quite a lot but it's not always easy if the weather is bad. It's very hard walking against the wind when you've got breathing problems.

“This class was really good fun and I think that's a big part of it. It helps people to feel better by making them smile.”

Currently, people who are admitted to hospital with breathing problems are offered a six-week rehabilitation course when they leave but there are no on-going group programmes.

Mr Woods said: “We have been trying to get this up and running for 18 months. It's funded solely out of Breathe Easy's money, but anyone who thinks they could benefit from it is welcome to come along.”

If you would be interested in attending a class call Sheila Swarbrick on 01473 720189.

N If you have benefited from a similar exercise regime write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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