Training helps to keep older people moving

South Somerset District Council’s Healthy Lifestyles Team helped to keep older and frail people on the move with a fun packed Flexercise session at the Octagon Theatre on Monday 12 September.

Sam Wenden-de-Lira, Healthy Lifestyles Officer at the District Council explained the benefits of the training: “Flexercise is a series of chair based exercises that are an ideal way to keep residents in nursing homes, care homes, Active Living Centres, residential homes and sheltered housing active. The scheme is specifically designed for older and frail individuals.


“Flexercise can also be used to help people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and those rehabilitating after a stroke. Put simply, Flexercise is perfect for a wide range of people who have difficulty exercising.

“Our training explains what Flexercise is, the medical conditions that older adults may have and activities that can be used with or without additional equipment. As part of the programme there is ongoing support for the leaders and further training to update the activities that they can use within their Flexercise sessions.”

The fully booked training session included staff from Queen Camel Medical Centre, Ferns Care Home and Penn Hill Surgery. Ryalls Park Medical Centre also attended and Health Coach Cheryl Mead explained how the training will benefit them. “As Health Coaches, it was another opportunity to consider how we can best support our patients creatively and we came away inspired to get started on this – Flexercise will start here in October!

“We already have our weekly “Walk and Talk” which is proving popular but some people are not yet ready to tackle a walk in the park, feeling that perhaps they are too wobbly on their feet or just do not feel well enough generally for this, so we are planning to offer the chair-based Flexercise sessions as a fun, gentle introduction to exercise in a safe and supportive environment.  With the added bonus that perhaps people may then feel able to progress to a walk at a later date.”

Councillor Sylvia Seal, the Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at South Somerset District Council said: “Our Healthy Lifestyles team have now delivered Flexercise training to hundreds of people working in nursing homes, residential homes and sheltered housing. The workshops are an essential way to keep older and frail people more active and engaged.”

For information about the Flexercise programme as well as booking forms visit or contact Sam Wenden-de-Lira on 01935 462348 or email [email protected]

Photo: Parachute games from the training session on 12 September.