With most colleagues in the Care Group working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our South East Locality Health Visiting team has come up with the brilliant idea of introducing a weekly keep fit session called 'Keep Fit Wednesday' ahead of their weekly team meetings.
The South East Locality Health Visiting Team's Clinical Lead, Hamida Serdiwala, initially came up with the idea and asked certified fitness trainer and Specialist Community Public Health Nurse - Health Visitor, Shereen Miller, to lead the fitness session and that's how Keep Fit Wednesdays came to be.
Prior to the pandemic and the introduction of homeworking, the Health Visiting team was reasonably active, with most colleagues walking to patient homes, children's centres and meetings. Some of the team were also enthusiastic cyclists. The changes to the team's way of working meant that most of the team were not getting the recommended amount of daily exercise, leading to lethargy and lack of motivation.
The Keep Fit Wednesday sessions are all about encouraging team building, and incorporating some physical activity during the workday. This has been a great way for colleagues to sustain their health and wellbeing, while working through these uncertain times.
Each week for 30 minutes before the Locality Covid-19 update, Shereen leads a HIIT (high intensity interval training) class that works all muscle groups, and everyone in the Care Group no matter their ability or agility can join in. The sessions are delivered via Microsoft Teams and people can choose to either have their cameras on or off and leave feedback in the chat.
The feedback from colleagues who join the weekly fitness class has been positive. Here are some comments below:
'Thanks for the sweat on Wednesday morning, I am always looking out for it, it's been amazing and I have enjoyed every moment of it especially the squats, I feel more energetic and stronger, thanks for time and commitment, it is well appreciated.' Dorothy
'I just wanted to give you some feedback on your workout classes. I have thoroughly been enjoying them. In fact, I missed it very much when there wasn't one this Wednesday. It really helps when I can see you and when I am also able to see another person. It makes me feel like I am actually joining a class and not just following someone I don't know on YouTube. Plus, the class also gets me feeling fresh and makes me feel like I have done something worthwhile for the day. Also, I like the fact you cater for beginners as well. If anyone finds a particular exercise hard, you give them the option to do a move halfway or an easier way that they can cope with.' Somi
'During lockdown, Shereen's Keep Fit Wednesday morning session has been a God send. It is something I look forward to weekly and it really helps to start your working day off well and get your circulation pumping and feeling revitalised. During this COVID pandemic, our jobs have massively changed from being mobile and walking to clinics and clients' homes to long hours sitting and excessive screen time due to back to back video calls and computer documentation. Shereen is always professional, energetic and mindful of everyone's different capabilities and age ranges for those partaking in the session and gives adjusted exercises accordingly. I'm not someone who goes to the gym but I have actually embraced Shereen's virtual exercise class and it is something I would like to continue to do post COVID lockdown as it has shown me how unfit I have become but how enjoyable simple and short session exercises can be. Thank you Shereen for what you do and for offering this exercise class as it is very beneficial for body and mind and feeling muscles that I forgot I had. You're a star!' Something I do look forward to'. Bernie
'Keep fit Wednesdays has helped to get the day off to a positive staff and has per above, helped to improve our colleagues' overall health and wellbeing. It helps to empower staff and encourages them to realise that even though our work life has changed significantly, we can adjust and focus on positives that can come out of this new way of working.'
Shereen Miller Specialist Community Public Health Nurse- Health Visitor