People are seeing for themselves the benefits of a new service designed to help those with long term health problems get in shape.

Type=image;ImageID=1949;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Bob Hasketh working out with Diane Addis;TitleClass=strong;

Wolverhampton City Council launched Fit for a Fiver thanks to Public Health funding. It is aimed at people with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) - 30 or more - or diabetes or any other long term medical condition, and enables them to enjoy 12 weeks of exercise.

The programme costs just £5 and provides vouchers enabling participants to either use special Easyline hydraulic gyms located at community centres around Wolverhampton, or go swimming in one of the 3 city council-run pools.

And already dozens of people are reaping the rewards - improving both their physical and mental health at the same time.

Bob Hasketh of Bilston was referred to the scheme by his health trainer after suffering bouts of depression - and has been on the programme for 20 weeks.

He works out at the Easyline Gym at Lower Bradley Community Centre and has already lost 2 and a half stone.

He said: "My health trainer recommended that I take up the Fit for a Fiver programme and I haven't looked back.

"I love the sessions - they've not only helped me lose weight and feel better physically but they have also made me feel better in myself.

"The hardest part was getting the courage to come through the door that first time but I'm so glad that I did. The sessions are a social get-together as much as a fitness class and that's what makes them work so well."

Bob completed the initial 12 week programme and was making such good progress that he was given a second set of vouchers so that he could continue his improvement.

The vouchers can be used to access the city's many EasyLine hydraulic gyms, which are specially designed to improve people's health and aid their rehabilitation by enabling them to enjoy gentle exercise.

Alternatively, people can use the swimming pools during public sessions at either Central Baths, the Bert Williams Leisure Centre or Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre. Pregnant women with a high BMI can also take part in aqua natal sessions at Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre through the scheme.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Well-being, said: "The Fit for a Fiver programme is proving very popular, with scores of people already taking part and benefitting - and many more joining on a weekly basis.

"Taking regular exercise is particularly important for people with long term medical conditions and enjoying a gentle workout by using EasyLine equipment or enjoying a swim is enabling people to make a big difference to their health and well-being.

"People who complete the course and make good progress, such as Bob Hasketh, can also be rewarded with a further 12 week programme, providing 6 months of exercise at minimal cost."

For more information about the Fit for a Fiver scheme please contact Wolverhampton City Council's Community Development Team on 01902 552144.

  • released: Thursday 22 August, 2013