April 15, 2016, by Laura Estrop
Achieve your fitness goals with our supported fitness sessions
As part of our disability in sports programme, we offer supported fitness sessions to disabled students and members of staff so they can get a consistent level of support when exercising. One of the students who has greatly benefitted from the service sent us a blog. They asked that their story be shared so that others who have a disability or long long-term medical condition can receive the life changing help they have had. It was their wish to remain anonymous, which we have honoured.
The sessions have been of so much worth to me personally, as well as academically. In the last 10 weeks of having these sessions, I have enjoyed reduced pain, much better muscle strength and increased confidence in my body and the management of my Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Every supported fitness session has been aimed at achieving goals I set myself last year. I have had MS symptoms since 2007 and have had a lot of damage to my nervous system, which sometimes leads to weakened use of my legs, poor balance and a whole host of cognitive problems. Exercise has been instrumental for recovery and management of the condition.
Exercise plan dedicated to my needs
Chloe, who is one of the Sports Department’s fitness instructors, and I discussed initially muscle groups (core, back and legs) and skills (endurance) I should work on. From there, she has designed a set of exercises to strengthen my body overall, expanding on these as required. I worked on muscle groups I had forgotten I had while doing exercises I would never have thought of because of Chloe’s specialist help. For the first time in a number of years, I haven’t had chronic pain, which is frankly incredible! My frustration with MS and its impact on my body, brain, and academic output, is minimised and the mild anxiety that comes along with a long-term medical condition is decreased.
Achieving personal fitness goals
Quite a lot of the success of this is down to working with Chloe. Her specialist disability fitness knowledge is invaluable. She is also funny, kind and her personality immediately sets me at ease. I look forward to every one of my scheduled sessions with her. During sessions, she challenges me to go further and plays on my competitive nature to keep my strength and endurance on an upward trajectory. My mental wellbeing is improved after each session. I recently completed a spin class with Chloe, which was a goal of mine, that I never thought I’d have the capability to do but because of her encouragement, I decided to try it.
Changed for the better
I can only add that I sincerely wish I had started to supported fitness sessions much sooner. I have recommended friends with long-term conditions also get to the gym more often because I can so easily see the impact it has physically and mentally. This is an instrumental service to managing medical conditions and much has changed positively for me since beginning fitness sessions with Chloe.
If you’d like to book an initial supported fitness session or want to find out more, contact our Disability Sport Officer on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling: 0115 8468121. You can also find out more information about what’s on offer as part of our Disability Sports Programme here.
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