South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s acute therapy services team, who provide therapeutic interventions and assessment to people with mental health problems, are now offering ‘hula hooping’ at Fieldhead, Wakefield.
The new sessions are part of ongoing work to promote physical activity as a way of improving wellbeing, as well as to make activity increasingly accessible to all.
The activity is being formally launched as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from 13 – 19 May. Run by the Mental Health Foundation, the week aims to raise knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing issues and focuses on a different topic each year.
This year, Mental Health Awareness Week is themed around physical activity and exercise, highlighting the positive impact they have on mental health and wellbeing. To tie in with this theme, the formal launch of the hooping classes aims to raise awareness of hooping as a fun and enjoyable exercise which improves mood and energy levels alongside physical and mental health.
The weighted hoops weigh from three to five pounds and offer resistance for the muscles during the workout. A hooping workout can help to strengthen the core, increase flexibility in the spine, is an excellent source of low impact cardio vascular exercise and can be done virtually anywhere to promote a healthier lifestyle.
The activity has been initiated by the Trust’s principal physiotherapist Margaret Freeburn and physiotherapy assistant, Carol Denton who encourage staff and service users to improve their health and mental wellbeing by taking regular exercise.
Margaret said, “Hula hooping is a great way to tone up whilst enjoying a bit of fun, making exercise less of a chore. Hooping can help to improve mood, it’s nostalgic and seeing and feeling the improvements in the physical body can help to lift spirits and improve confidence.”
Hula hooping groups are offered on a regular basis in Wakefield as part of a comprehensive therapeutic timetable.