In support of their recovery, people with a mental illness and their carers can find ways to become more active.
Care and Treatment Plan / Carer’s Assessment:
Goals which service users and carers can set themselves include:-
● Getting advice and information on physical activity
● Contacting the local council to see what exercise activities or facilities are on offer in the area (e.g. swimming pool, aerobics classes, yoga sessions)
● Writing an exercise plan
● Joining a local gym
● Walking whenever they can (and using a pedometer)
● Using stairs rather than lifts
● Joining a dance class or activity club
● Getting together with other people to exercise: e.g. they can play badminton, motivate each other to go for a walk or to the gym, or take part in team exercise such as football
● Using a bike
● Joining a local walking group or team activity.
The NHS recommends that to stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do:
At least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week
Muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).*
This is general exercise advice for adults. The kind of physical activity that is right for the individual will depend on their level of physical ability. For example, if a person is in a wheelchair then swimming or wheelchair sprinting may be the most suitable aerobic exercises. If the person has a physical disability they can discuss what type of exercise is best for them with their doctor.
Supporters could include:-
● GP and Practice Nurse
● Gym instructor
● Health promotion service
● Local council
● Local clubs
● Family member and/or other carer
● Care Coordinator.
Best practice examples in mental health services:-
● Service users and carers in Blaenau Gwent set up a weekly tai chi club in their local mental health project
● Carers and service users in Ynys Môn started a “Walk a Mile” club
● A service user in Bridgend did a Sports Leadership course and designed sports sessions for his fellow service users
● A carer in Ceredigion used a pedometer to monitor her progress as she walked 5,000+ steps every day.