Reaping rewards of Waterlooville exercise class to keep strong

John Rhoades-Brown stretches during Floyd Foster's exercise classes at Waterlooville Community Centre. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150155-4)

John Rhoades-Brown stretches during Floyd Foster's exercise classes at Waterlooville Community Centre. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150155-4)

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Fifteen older people took part in a ‘Steady and Strong’ class at Waterlooville Community Centre yesterday – one of a number of classes taking place across the area to help prevent falls.

28/01/15  JT''Fitness Instructor, Floyd Foster works with pensioners during a keep fit class at Waterlooville Community Centre which is designed to help older people stay mobile. Pat Phillips twists.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150155-6) PPP-150129-172536003

28/01/15 JT''Fitness Instructor, Floyd Foster works with pensioners during a keep fit class at Waterlooville Community Centre which is designed to help older people stay mobile. Pat Phillips twists.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150155-6) PPP-150129-172536003

It is estimated that falls and fractures in people aged over 65 accounts for more than 4m hospital bed days each year in England. But a regular exercise programme can reduce the chances of a fall by more than half.

Hampshire County Council and Southern Health NHS Trust are now aiming to get more people attending the classes.

Leading the class yesterday was 51-year-old fitness instructor Floyd Foster, who holds classes in Waterlooville, Emsworth, Hayling Island and Hilsea.

He said: ‘We want to try to prevent people going back into hospital by giving them exercises to encourage balance and leg strength.

28/01/15  JT''Fitness Instructor, Floyd Foster works with pensioners during a keep fit class at Waterlooville Community Centre which is designed to help older people stay mobile.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150155-8) PPP-150129-172613003

28/01/15 JT''Fitness Instructor, Floyd Foster works with pensioners during a keep fit class at Waterlooville Community Centre which is designed to help older people stay mobile.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150155-8) PPP-150129-172613003

‘People are not going to fall so much and won’t be afraid to fall.’

Some of the routine is seated and done with resistance bands and fitness balls.

Chris Pylee, 66, of Angelica Court, Waterlooville, loves it.

‘The classes are absolutely brilliant,’ she said.

‘When I had my fall two years ago, I hurt my wrist and pulled the tendons in it. I completely lost my confidence after the fall.

‘Through these exercises I am strengthening my wrist so I don’t need to wear a support and it’s also helping with my balance.’

She added: ‘We just have a good laugh.

‘It’s good fun and we are working out at the same time.’

There are more than 40 classes running across Hampshire with more planned as demand increases.

For details of classes visit hants.gov.uk/adult-services/bettertime/health-concerns/feeling-safe-balance/betterbalance or call Sophie Jevons on (01962) 846605.

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