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Exercise on Prescription with Magna Vitae

/ Health & Fitness

One You Lincolnshire grants Magna Vitae an additional 200 Exercise on Prescription places for East Lindsey residents.

Magna Vitae is a key player in driving forward the health agenda in Lincolnshire and, since 2019, has worked alongside One You Lincolnshire, united in their aim to get Lincolnshire residents moving more.

The community trust for Leisure & Culture started delivering the exercise on prescription service in East Lindsey in November 2019, just months before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aeneas Richardson, Executive Director of Magna Vitae, said: “For Magna Vitae the Exercise on Prescription programme presents an excellent opportunity to introduce people to experiences and health and fitness opportunities they may not have had before. At Magna Vitae, our mission is to help residents to live a great life, and the exercise on prescription scheme allows us to do just that.”

Now two years on, Magna Vitae has received a 50% increase in places from One You Lincolnshire this month, allowing the charitable trust to extend its Exercise on Prescription scheme to 625 residents across the East Lindsey district.

“It’s been great to build a strong partnership with Magna Vitae over the last few years.  Magna Vitae staff have supported lots of people on the Exercise on Prescription programme, by providing access to one of their Leisure Centre’s in Louth, Mablethorpe, Skegness and Horncastle.  This has allowed more people to successfully make sustainable healthy lifestyle changes”. Nigel Stephenson, Physical Activity Lead, One You Lincolnshire.

The exercise on prescription service is a subsidised 12-week personal exercise programme, where participants are guided by qualified and experienced Lifestyle Consultants to develop a unique wellbeing programme. Like any other prescription, the dose, frequency, and therapeutic goal are tailored to individual needs.

In numbers:

  • In 2019/2020, 236 East Lindsey residents were referred to the Exercise on Prescription programme.
  • In 2021/2022, this number grew with 422 referrals.
  • Since starting the 2022/2023 programme, 229 residents have been referred, with an increased target of 625 places now available.
  • Over 50% of referrals have come from Louth residents, with the recently refurbished MLC fitness suite facilitating a rise in referrals.
  • Over 30% of participants in 2021/2022 reported reduced visits to their GP and less prescribed medication.

Tracey Wilkinson, Programme Lead for Magna Vitae, explains how Exercise on Prescription isn’t just a gym-based programme:

“When the individual is with us for 12 weeks, they are advised and helped like any other member; they can go in the swimming pool, they can use the fitness suite, they can access exercise classes and healthy walks; we must provide these stepping-stones as we recognise that the gym isn’t always the desired activity option for everyone.”

“We also offer weekly drop-in sessions, so if someone has a particular question or is looking for expert nutritional advice, we can support them.” 

Linda, from Louth recently completed the Exercise on Prescription programme.

“After initial scepticism, I have found the Exercise on Prescription referral to the gym enjoyable and it is really improving my physical fitness and my mental well-being. Best thing I have done in a very long time.”

Chris also from Louth found the programme equally beneficial:

“I found the referral one of the best things I have done in a long time. It got me out of the lethargy of lock down and improving my overall fitness in body and mind.”

To support the delivery of the programme, Magna Vitae has provided training opportunities for employees to increase the number of people qualified to deliver the programme in its venues across East Lindsey.

Kenny Foakes is a newly qualified Exercise on Prescription specialist at Station Sports Centre in Mablethorpe.

“Exercise on Referral is a great qualification to add to my arsenal of talents, it is a passion of mine to see as many patients achieve positive results through the programme as possible and also to know that I have played a part in helping them achieve those results.”

The Exercise on Prescription programme is available to all Lincolnshire residents or those registered with a Lincolnshire GP. Participants must be over 18 and doing less than 150 mins of physical activity a week to join the programme.

A referral is through a medical professional, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists or can now actually be a self-referral. To find out more, click here

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