Project gets active to reduce GP visits


A pilot project aimed at reducing older people’s visits to GPs and reliance on medication has been hailed a success by a Lancaster gym owner.

Age UK Lancashire’s project Fit For The Future is being hosted by the new Train Together Functional Fitness Studio on the White Cross Business Park.

Co-owner Neil Caines said that being slightly older than most personal trainers meant he has been more able to empathise with clients who were suffering from general aches and pains, creaky knees and bad backs.

He said: “Three weeks ago I gained a new perspective on fitness and its positive effects.

“We started working with Age UK Lancashire on Fit for the Future.

“Lancaster has over 60,000 people aged 45 and over. Of those, more than 25,000 are over retirement age.

“Every week for 16 weeks I get the chance to work with a lovely, and lively, group of these people with one aim in mind. They all want to live a healthy long life.

“We all read and hear every day about the ageing population, so what could be better than having a long and well deserved retirement?

“This project is aiming at ensuring we do better by helping us to have an active, fit and healthy retirement.

Neil’s group has an average age of 67, ranging from 53 to 83, who spend an hour every Tuesday working out with weights, exercise bands, rowing machines and bikes.

“The ultimate aim is for each individual to achieve a greater degree of independence – and that includes less visits to the GP and reliance on medication. By remaining active, using some resistance to strengthen muscles, challenging and improving core stability and balance I am already seeing a difference.

“Hopefully this pilot project will get support and continue.”