Prescribing exercise – still one of the best ways to beat aging

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Local authority leisure provider Everyone Active has reopened its essential exercise referral scheme, by joining forces with EXi, the NHS-approved exercise prescription app and data portal.

Everyone Active has joined forces with EXi, the award-winning app which is a UKCA marked class 1 medical device, providing an automated yet personalised exercise prescription. The digital solution is based on the latest scientific evidence for safety and effectiveness to those suffering from any number of 23 long-term conditions including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity and cancer.

Longevity.Technology: “Take two and call me in the morning… from the gym.” We can take all the supplements we want, but the most effective ways of moving the needle on aging remain diet and exercise. A physician can suggest taking a more active lifestyle, but might uptake be more assured if that advice is backed by a prescription? Strength training can prevent bone loss and slow down osteoporosis, but gyms can be expensive – of course, a hospital stay after a hip fracture is even more expensive, so it’s time to see a bigger, healthier picture.

The EXi platform, backed by Sport England, is a valuable tool in delivering exercise prescription. It has no barriers to participation and its digital format enables people to access it wherever and whenever they want. Everyone Active is a pacesetter in the UK, acting as a trusted leisure partner to the healthcare and medical industries. The relaunch of the exercise referral scheme in August has led to a smoother medical to fitness referral process, working closely with local communities to slowly eradicate health inequality. This includes enabling those living with chronic conditions from low social economic and disadvantaged areas to access the right effective healthcare for their chronic conditions and co-morbidities.

Longevity.Technology reached out to Carron Manning, EXi Co-founder, who told us: “We know how important keeping active is, particularly as we age, but it’s one of the hardest things to maintain as life often gets in the way of our best intentions. EXi’s approach is to prescribe activity at exactly the right level for each person, almost like a minimum effective dose, and it’s our intention that prescribed exercise is perceived to be an essential component of chronic disease prevention and management.”

Carron Manning EXi
Carron Manning, EXi Co-founder

A training protocol for Everyone Active employees has been implemented and delivered through EXi’s CPD training. More than 130 of Everyone Active staff are being trained by EXi’s experts, including Carron Manning, who is also a physiotherapist, and EXi’s clinical director.

“The [EXi] health experts presented information to help our physical activity teams understand how new digital platforms can complement our customer offering and improve the health and wellbeing outcomes in our communities,” said Ben Beevers, Everyone Active’s Group Development Director. “The evidence, research and data demonstrated by EXi, helped our teams to further understand the ways fitness, sport and leisure can work closer together with the health and social care sector.”

He added: “This partnership has helped strengthen our exercise referral scheme and enabled us to support a wider range of individuals suffering with health conditions.”

Carron Manning said: “We are delighted to be working with Everyone Active on this new initiative. It represents a huge opportunity for us to create a new GP referral to exercise pathway, incorporating all the flexibility and data capture that technology allows whilst utilising the dedicated support of the Everyone Active fitness professionals.

“The beauty of our partnership with Everyone Active lies not just in the advanced and safe programming for people with long-term conditions, but also the reassurance that someone is looking out for them and looking over their data. We believe it is a superior option to usual care, and Everyone Active are way ahead of the curve in bringing GP referral to exercise services up to date.”

The Everyone Active exercise referral scheme is open to anyone who has a pre-existing health risk condition or those at risk of health conditions through a non-active lifestyle. Individuals will be referred to Everyone Active through a GP, Practice Nurse or Physiotherapist.

After being referred to the scheme, participants will benefit from at least two sessions weekly, over a two to three-month period. On completion of their programme, they can then benefit from 25% discount on an Everyone Active membership.

Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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