Fifers urged to move more with Macmillan

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For those living with cancer, or in recovery, physical activity can be a positive change to their life.

In the past doctors advised that people rest as much as possible, but we now know that too much rest results in loss of muscle strength and leaves you with low energy levels.

Even gentle exercise has been shown to improve the quality of life for people living with, and after, cancer.

Many people are surprised to hear that physical activity can improve the likelihood of beating cancer, and reduce the chance of it returning in people who have been successfully treated.

Fatigue, depression, or reduced muscle strength can be problematic during and after treatment.People may not realise that heart, and other health problems, may occur as a result of their illness and treatment. By taking the simple step of getting involved in physical activity cancer patients could be helping themselves to overcome or even prevent these problems.

First launched in 2013 by Macmillan, Move More Fife aimed to get Fifers back on their feet again.

The Kingdom was one of the first areas to get involved in the initiative with the aim to encourage and support people with, and recovering from, cancer to get out and about and exercise more.

Working with various organisations, Fife Sport and Leisure Trust (FSLT) provide exercise classes and activity events for all levels of ability and needs at its centres across the region.

Jacquie Stringer, health and physical activity manager for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “There is strong evidence that even gentle regular exercise helps those with cancer or in recovery.

“Macmillan were approached by myself and the lead cancer nurse for NHS Fife, Murdina McDonald, to fund the Move More programme in Fife. We now have a wide range of activities for people to choose from. These include gentle movement, walking and group exercise at various leisure and community venues across the Kingdom. There is something for everyone and for all levels of ability. We also hope to have a Community Garden project up and running in the next twelve months which people can get involved in.”

Until recently, a referral to Move More had to be made through a health professional. However, this has now been changed to allow people to self refer and make the positive change in their own lives.

“People can now contact Move More directly themselves and talk to a health professional about taking part,” Jacquie continued.

“It’s a bit like a triage, for want of a better word, where they can discuss the various activities and decide on what is the best option for them.

“The programme is free and people can bring a friend or family member along if they wish. Since the programme started, we’ve had over 360 referrals, so it’s proved to be popular and it really does make a difference.”

To find out more contact Fiona Prendergast at Fiona.Prendergast@fifeleisure.org.uk.