|Getting Communities Active|
Four out of 10 men aged 35 and over don’t currently do the recommended weekly level of exercise.
The Y Active Men Programme, run in 2010, was a 12-week programme to encourage this age group to get active. Four YMCAs participated across the country* and offered free membership to YMCA fitness facilities, one to one health assessments, mentoring and support. Over 120 men took part.
Before the programme, 67% of participants were active less than five days a week. After taking part, participants saw a number of improvements to their health and well being, including weight loss and a reduction in waist circumference measurements, improved sleeping patterns, improved confidence and reduced blood pressure.
“I was concerned that my fitness levels were preventing me from doing the things I wanted to do with my young son. I used to find excuses not to exercise, now I find excuses to exercise” said Nick who attend the programme at Flyde Coast YMCA.
Many participants began to eat more healthily and lead healthier lifestyles. One man who hadn’t gone a week in the past 25 years without drinking alcohol gave up alcohol for two months during the programme.
Colin from North Tyneside YMCA said: “I feel a lot better both physically and mentally. If you’re long term unemployed which I have been in the past, then you get stuck in a rut – programmes like this help to motivate you. It’s given me a kick up the backside to lead a healthier lifestyle.”
20% of participants in the programme have now signed up to be members of their local YMCA fitness facility.
* Central YMCA, North Tyneside YMCA, Manchester YMCA and Fylde Coast YMCA