Yesterday I had my Active Health assessment at the local gym. I wasn't sure what to expect but actually left feeling quite positive about it.
The assessment started with general info gathering, i.e. height, weight, age, blood pressure, and continued with an overview of my general health and any existing problems which could impact on exercising - that bit of the form wasn't big enough to fit in all the details!!
The next part of the assessment required me to respond to numerous questions on how I perceive my current level of fitness, my commitment to improving that level of fitness, and the importance of that fitness to my lifestyle. Each question was assessed out of 10 and my answers will be reviewed after twelve weeks.
After this, he explained the cost of membership and talked through exactly what was available to me. The full membership price is £33 per month, but as this is a health referral I will have to pay £24 per month for the first six months, £28 per month for the remaining six months, and then full membership after twelve months. This will give me unlimited access to the gym, pool, exercise classes, and courts (squash/badminton etc.). It is possible to pay per session/activity but that would be too expensive if I want to go regularly. The membership covers all of the Wiltshire Council leisure centres, so I can also consider the different classes offered in any one of the twelve centres.
I've settled on using the gym and maybe attending a weekly active health circuit group that he runs. This group sounds really good as there is a social aspect as well as the supervised exercise but it means committing to a regular time each week which currently clashes with something else I want to do. He will now devise a bespoke exercise plan for the gym to take account of my medical issues and the targets I've set - i.e. get fit, lose weight! I have a routine doctor's appointment on Friday and he's asked that I check whether there is any aspect of exercising I need to avoid due to the problems with my eyes. I actually think I'm past the time period when there was a risk of serious problems, but it's as well to check.
I go back for my next appointment at the end of August as it wasn't worth joining until I return from my holidays. At this appointment I'll be shown how to use/adjust the various gym machines and be supervised through the various exercises in my bespoke routine. After that, I'll be on my own but I've been assured that there is always a gym instructor in the room to help if needed. I'll then be assessed after six weeks and again after twelve weeks, when a report will be sent to my doctor who will review to determine whether further support is required.
In the meantime I'll carry on with my daily walking and try to get back to walking for 30 minutes every day.