CHD residents feel the benefits of vibrant virtual fitness sessions streamed live from the USA

23 July, 2020  ·  Less than a minute read
CHD residents feel the benefits of vibrant virtual fitness sessions streamed live from the USA

Ourselves and an American fitness centre have teamed up to make fitness fun for residents restricted to their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

New York based Mark Fisher Fitness along with our staff have been holding twice-weekly sessions focussed around mobility and meditation, aimed at keeping residents mentally and physically agile during isolation.

The partnership, having been initially formed on a short-term basis, has proven so popular amongst residents that it has been extended, with the virtual classes now being added to the activity calendars across all our 13 care homes until the end of August.

Offering a wide range of activities from gentle seated exercises to strength, balance and breathing exercises, the virtual classes have also provided the opportunity for residents to socialise and connect with residents from other homes of ours, as well as the instructors themselves who have led the sessions virtually from across the pond.

Famed for its inclusive approach to exercise, Mark Fisher Fitness is passionate about providing an accepting, judgement-free environment for exercise to take place. With instructors regularly donning tutus and superhero capes, and clients affectionately coined ‘ninjas’, the New York gym has quickly become one of America’s most talked-about fitness centres.

By injecting an element of performance art into classes and training sessions, Mark Fisher believes that much of the inherent self-consciousness from working out is removed, enabling clients to really commit to their exercise whilst having fun in the process.

This eccentric approach has been fully incorporated into our fitness sessions, with participating residents and carers encouraged to dress up in costumes for their workouts.

Shaleeza Hasham, Head of Hospitality and Communications at CHD Living explains: “Keeping residents mentally and physically active is a priority of ours all year round, however lockdown restrictions have made this somewhat more difficult with us unable to take residents for their regular walks outside of their homes.

When Mark Fisher Fitness approached us offering to host virtual fitness and meditation sessions for our homes, we were overwhelmed by this kind offer and knew it would be of huge benefit to our residents. The sessions are incredibly fun and engaging, and the difference they have made to the mental and physical wellbeing of our residents has been wonderful to see. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with Mark Fisher Fitness and their lovely team!”

Resident Shelagh Howes from CHD Living’s Surbiton care home, 90, said of the sessions: “I’ve loved them, especially getting to see residents from other homes that I’ve never met before - and also the instructors from the US. The sessions are fun, not too difficult, and suitable for anyone to join in with.”

Instructor at Mark Fisher Fitness, Sam Strasfeld - who has been hosting the classes with CHD Living - added: “These past few weeks, it's been great to see the residents and staff of CHD Living’s multiple homes moving and grooving together. Doing any amount of exercise is important, particularly at the moment, and even 5 minutes will provide you with some real benefits.”

Providing some tips for those who may be struggling to keep active at this time, Sam suggests: “Make some time throughout your day (in small blocks) to move a little. Try having an accountability buddy (someone you can go for a walk with). Do something fun (like Zoom classes!). And, just like we want balance and variety in our diet, mix things up when it comes to exercise!”

Mark Fisher, founder of Mark Fisher Fitness said: “We are proud to support the residents and staff of CHD Living. In a time when self-care has never been more important, we feel lucky to bring our glitter-covered expertise to those in need.”

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