Posted: 25.06.20 at 19:46 by The Editor
An innovative coronavirus 'rainbow trail' to support the health and wellbeing of older, vulnerable and disabled people has been given the green light by Rutland County Council.
Dr Mary Hardwick, founding director of Manton's Inspire2tri, has been given the go-ahead to turn a section of field next to the not-for-profit community interest company's headquarters in St Mary's Road into the special exercise area.
A report by Inspire2tri describes the new T-shaped wooden decking walkway outdoor facility as having a single bar at the end sections for balance and walking exercises, a bench with arms for sit-to-stand, 2m high 'multi-use' posts with various attachment points and lever arms to enable weights and resistance bands to be attached in varied combinations and a drop-down grab rail for less-able clients.
It says the space offers 'a very low risk outdoor exercise option that can provide the support, facilities and control to deliver varied and appropriate exercise for older and more vulnerable populations in Rutland whilst indoor exercise is not an option'.
"It is highly likely that older or more vulnerable people will not be able to exercise safely inside for the foreseeable future.
"Many will be highly reticent or frightened to do so.
"Some will have stopped exercising without the social impetus and/or trained guidance.
"Whilst some have technology and can follow exercise routines at home in a (relatively) safe way with familiar instructors, many cannot access/understand it," adds the report.
The scheme secured the support of more than 20 local residents and Inspire2tri clients as well as Manton Parish Council and Rutland Primary Healthcare Network.
Dr Hilary Fox, the network's clinical director, wrote: "Self isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for people to maintain the Chief Medical Officer's recommendation for strength training twice a week and exercise for 150 minutes per week.
"For all of us, especially older people and those living with frailty, that increases the risk of falls, deterioration in long term conditions and poor mental health.
"This outdoor track will enable people to exercise safely under supervision and regain strength and balance in a controlled environment.
"GPs will be able to refer patients to rehabilitation classes knowing that they are safe and supervised.
"This is an innovative solution...which supports the health and wellbeing of Rutland residents."