The benefits of exercise to help recovery from major life-threatening conditions such as cancer, COPD, heart attack and stroke are well documented, as too are improvements in patients’ life expectancy.
We have already highlighted the benefit of exercise in coping with poor mental health, with the example of University of Bristol.
To reinforce this, new research recently released has shown that swimming significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety or depression for 1.4 million adults in Britain.
The need and willpower to get better and to achieve a new level of normality, drives patients suffering ill-health to explore many avenues for their treatment. Exercise is one of them, and is often offered through a referral scheme from a doctor or consultant.
For many who haven’t been before, a visit to the gym can be a daunting prospect. They are entering a world alien to what they are used to and have no idea of what this exercise regimen will entail. Having a trained exercise professional there who is approachable and welcoming, to advise and support them, will make a world of difference to the success of the referral and the patient’s enjoyment of the exercise experience.
Brian’s story: ‘The personal approach will always win.’
As part of our students’ profiling series, after featuring fitness instructor Patricia Park who emphasised on the value and benefits of exercise referral scheme, we approached Brian Gemmell, a self-employed fitness instructor based south of Glasgow (Scotland) who shared his experience.
Developing exercise knowledge for self and others
After qualifying at Level 2 in several exercise-based subjects including Fitness Instructor and achieving Level 3 Personal Trainer, Brian went on to qualify with WRIGHT Foundation at Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral to give him a better understanding of referral schemes, how they work and how he could participate in them. He then qualified in 2017 in Level 4 Cancer Rehabilitation and more recently trained at Level 4 Cardiac Rehabilitation.
For Brian, exercise has become key to his own wellbeing. By expanding his skills he is also able to give his clients who are living with and beyond cancer a more focused exercise programme.
Brian appreciates that the knowledge he gained on the courses was immense. “I can now sit with a client, asking them the correct questions, tailor their workout to suit the needs of their medical condition with the confidence that I know what I am doing. I can help them even more and that is very satisfying.”
In Brian’s experience, many of his clients have a medical condition such as thyroid related issues, high/low blood pressure or a respiratory condition. They are often reluctant to speak about it openly.
It is essential that the exercise professional knows what questions to ask, what signs to look for so that they build trust with their clients and they in turn can open up about their conditions. The personal approach is very important.
Make exercise personal
One of Brian’s clients, a lady in her mid-50s from Glasgow, has had three heart stents fitted and also suffers from high blood pressure. When she was first referred, she was unsure of what she could do at the gym.
In order to gain her trust, Brian took time to explain to her the training he had undertaken and qualifications he held. He then tailored a programme to suit her with gentle fitness, indoor cycling and other exercise suited to her medical history.
She is now much more aware of what her own body can do, working to her abilities and is leading a healthier and fitter life. Brian regularly keeps in touch with her. “I want to make sure she has a varied programme, so that she does not get bored with coming to the gym.” Indeed, clients are much more likely to remain as gym members after the referral period, knowing that they will receive personal attention from instructors who are aware of their medical history.
Training Director Lorraine Nicholson says “Exercise is a key element in people’s recovery from ill-health. The qualifications that Brian gained through WRIGHT Foundation empowers exercise professionals to guide people to a healthier lifestyle through exercise which will maximise their chance of living better and longer. Health and wellbeing of the patient is always at the heart of our courses.”
Are you a past student of WRIGHT Foundation? Would you like to be featured on our blog?
Call us on 01307 469055 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to hear about your progress, ask you a few questions and share your story.
If you have any queries about our courses – GP Exercise Referral, Specialist Conditions including Exercise for Long Term Neurological Conditions – please do call us on 01307 469055 or use the contact form.
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