Keeping active

Research has shown that moderate activity which raises your heartbeat and makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath for 30 minutes 5 times a week, done in bursts of at least 10 minutescan produce the following benefits:

  • Help with losing weight and control
  • Improve your circulation hence prevent diabetic complications
  • Lower the levels of harmful fats in the blood, cholesterol
  • Enable you to cope better with the stresses of everyday life.
  • Improve heart and lung health.

Activities may include walking, cycling, swimming, fitness classes and even vigorous housework and gardening.

The key thing is that it should make you slightly breathless and be done in bursts of at least 10 mins for a minimum of 150mins during a week.

Follow the link below for a range of physical activities such as Health Walks, Community Sports, Swimming, Cycling and Gym based exercise:

HEAL Programme (Health, Exercise, Activity and Lifestyle) - Diabetes and Exercise Workshop

The HEAL programme is designed to help people with certain long-term medical conditions to start exercising safely and consists of:

  • a Physical Activity Recommendation Programme to which people can be signposted, or request for themselves, to get information on suitable opportunities for physical activity in York
  • an Exercise Referral Scheme to which GPs and other health professionals can refer patients with medical conditions to receive specialist advice and support to help them become more active.

Sessions -  The workshops are organised by City of York Council's Public Health team and are led by specialist exercise intstructors with specific qualifications in exercise and diabetes. During the workshops you are encouraged to think about what's important to you and to look at what approach works best.

The two hour interactive workshop explores:

* how physical activity can help with the management of blood glucose

* exercising safely with T2DM

* motivation, barriers to exercise and staying on track

* exercising at the right intensity

* finding ways to fit activities into your lifestyle and getting started

Feedback from past participants included:-

"Would recommend to anyone with diabetes"

"Enjoyed interacting with other attendees, discussions and excellent explanations"

"Helped me to understand the need for balancing the type of exercise, goals and activity log"

"Found it very informative. Enjoyed trying out the gym"

To book a place on a workshop ask your GP, practice nurse or a member of the hospital diabetes team to refer you to the HEAL scheme

Follow the link for information about the City of York Council's Health, Exercise, Activity and Lifestyle Programme (HEAL) which comprises of a Physical Activity 'Recommendation' Programme and Health Professional Exercise Referral Scheme:<>

Please note that if you are on insulin or tablet treatment for diabetes and take part in high intensity sports or exercise you may need to speak to your doctor about adjusting your treatment before and after you exercise.

HEAL (Health, Exercise,Activity and Lifestyle)

The HEAL Exercise Referral Scheme uses specialist qualified instructors to help referred participants become more active safely through targeted condition-specific exercises. Instructors are trained in motivational techniques and behavioural change as well as delivering specific exercise programmes for the management or prevention of many medical conditions. These include:

* Gym-based sessions at Energise (Acomb) and the Royal York Hotel (city centre).

* Group exercise classes at various locations across the city, including circuits, Pilates and Nordic walking.

* Exercise and diabetes workshops and specialist classes for diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions, osteo/rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac rehabilitation, COPD, cancer and neurological conditions.

If you are a health professional wishing to refer your patient to the programme you need to register to do this. Please contact the HEAL team on 01904 555755 for further details or you can submit an enquiry on behalf of a patient - please complete the HEAL recommendation scheme enquiry form (health professionals)  (please delete - for the exercise referral classes a full referral form is required and referrers need to sign up for this. The recommendation form is purely for signposting into things like health walks, cycle rides, etc )

To view a timetable of current HEAL Exercise Referral Classes - click here:

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