YOU may have thought lockdown and the closing of leisure centres in Powys would have had a detrimental impact on the health of Llandrindod Wells resident Patsy Beswick.
But the inspirational 95-year-old has been keeping herself and everyone else on their toes by joining in the Powys National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) team’s ‘Step up to Covid Challenge’.
This has helped Patsy maintain her daily average step count of 2,200 during the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the shutdown of the Triple A exercise class she has been attending at Rhayader Leisure Centre for the best part of the last decade.
Patsy has attended the class at the centre, operated by Freedom Leisure in partnership with Powys County Council, for over 10 years and rarely misses a session. Covid-19 changed all that but could not stop Patsy herself.
The Powys NERS team gathered what they could from their respective offices and tried to stay in contact with as many of the class’s participants as they could, and in May the group was established.
This was to not only help encourage and keep up exercise motivation for the NERS and Triple A participants, but also to raise money for the NHS. The challenge was a total steps target achieved by those taking part.
Not only was Patsy keen to take part, she had already got a head start on the group by continuing to walk 2,200 steps daily come rain or shine, with the help of her ‘wheelie walker’.
“Patsy is a truly remarkable lady, and an inspiration, proving that leading an active lifestyle can have a really positive effect on health and wellbeing,” said Gwyn Owen, Freedom Leisure’s area manager for mid Wales.
“Patsy told us that she hadn’t been sporty at school but has always enjoyed walking. She and her husband went on walking holidays in Dolgellau and in the area around Coed-y-Brenin, in Snowdonia.
“Patsy says she has always led a very active lifestyle and enjoyed a varied diet of home cooked food.”
The National Exercise Referral Scheme is a Welsh Government-funded initiative that runs across Wales to standardise exercise referral opportunities across all local authorities and local health boards.
The scheme is an evidenced-based health intervention that incorporates physical activity and behavioural change, it supports people to make and maintain healthier lifestyle choices which will improve their health and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, NERS services are still temporarily postponed until further notice and cannot accept any referrals at this time. However, there are other activities including swimming and exercise classes available at the leisure centres in Wales – go to www.freedom-leisure.co.uk to find out more.