Residents, apartment tenants, relatives and staff members from specialist care village, Belong Macclesfield, joined forces with four other Belong villages across the North West, to take part in a six week ‘step challenge’, for which participants pledged to use stairs rather than the lift, in order to improve their strength, mobility and overall wellbeing.
Customers at each Belong village in Atherton, Crewe, Macclesfield, Wigan and Warrington, have been taking part in the challenge, after learning that research has shown that stair climbing increases leg power and helps to reduce the risk of injury and falls in older people. Taking the stairs, rather than using a lift, also aids the attainment and maintenance of a healthy body weight.
110 people took part in Belong Macclesfield’s step challenge, including 27 residents who are able to climb stairs due to continuous exercise training at the village. Together, the participants climbed a total of 181,520 steps.
Participants have been monitored over the past six weeks with individual progress charts and a weekly ‘stand up and go test’, to demonstrate the difference that changing one aspect of strength training can make. Belong fitness instructors have also been on hand to encourage residents to use the step machines in the village’s exercise studio and to help with stair climbing.
Tracy Paine, Operations Director of Belong, said: “Exercise is very important for people of all ages and several studies have shown that both muscle strength and mass can be increased at essentially any age through systematic strength training.
“The step challenge has been a fun and engaging way of encouraging our customers to exercise more by using the stairs and we have certainly seen an increase in well-being, confidence and physical strength amongst customers who have taken part.”
All Belong village residents, tenants and Experience Day customers have access to an Exercise Studio, specially equipped to meet the exercise and activity needs of older people. A qualified exercise instructor, experienced in working with older people, helps to develop personalised training programmes to improve mobility and welfare.