Getting (Ki)Activ

By Leanna Wall

It is not news that having a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of us getting ill or contracting heart problems or diseases such as type II diabetes. Personally though, I have always struggled with exercise since leaving school and not having to do it as part of a P.E lesson. When it comes to fitness, I need support from others. If I don’t have someone who wants to get fit with me, it isn’t a priority I try to fit in.

Cue KiActiv…

KiActiv was introduced to me when I joined the Carers’ Centre. It is a 12 week programme designed to get individuals increasing their physical activity levels. It combines motivation via a trained mentor and digital technology, using an activity tracker (like a Fitbit) and an accessible online profile which is easy to understand. It’s much more than just counting steps, focusing on all the things that contribute to physical activity and therefore, a healthy lifestyle.

It has changed my life. I am now far more aware of the amount I already did throughout the day which I didn’t give myself credit for, breaking down that barrier for me to begin this journey in the first place. I also have a clear understanding of exactly how much I need to be moving each day and what I can do to reach my targets. Having a mentor I meet regularly means I am not doing it alone and the online platform is really easy to understand, giving me motivation to reach targets and set my own goals. I am now fully trained as a health mentor for KiActiv, supporting carers registered with the Carers’ Centre who want to get healthier.

I have worked together with the carers who have signed up so far, adapting the programme to fit around differing health needs and caring situations. One carer previously had no experience with digital technology of any kind, but this hasn’t stopped them!

We are all becoming more aware of the amount we already do which we wouldn’t normally consider as physical activity. The KiActiv programme shows that all physical activity contributes to a healthy lifestyle and reduction of health risks – you don’t need to be doing vigorous exercises at the gym to be considered healthy! There have been fantastic achievements from all of those who have signed up so far, with small adjustments within daily life leading to healthier lifestyles. Some have even rekindled their love of an old hobby or found new ones which help them increase their activity.

If you think you would benefit from taking part in the 12 week programme and receiving ongoing support throughout your journey, get in touch! You can call our freephone number 0800 0388 885 or send an email to info@banescarerscentre.org.uk.