A major new strength and balance campaign, which has been led and delivered by Cambridgeshire County Council, was launched on International Older People’s Day, 1 October, to help people in Cambridgeshire to Stay Stronger for Longer.

Huntingdonshire District Council’s Active Lifestyles Team, in conjunction with Cambridgeshire County Council and other partners, including Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), is helping to launch the campaign.

It is aimed at encouraging older people to take up strength and balance exercises twice a week to reduce the risk of falling and keep them doing the things they enjoy.

The Active Lifestyles Team offer RightStart classes across Huntingdonshire, which are graded exercises for older people wanting to increase their strength and balance. The exercises have the power to reverse age-related loss of strength, bone and balance – they can keep you fit, active and independent and doing what you love for longer. The classes are safe, fun, friendly and taught by qualified instructors.

After breaking a bone in her back two years ago, Margaret found that normal activities were extremely difficult. However, thanks to some simple regular strength and balance exercises at Brampton Memorial Hall, she is now on the road to recovery and doing the things she enjoys again. The 74-year-old is now reaping the rewards of regular exercise after signing up in January.

Margaret said: "When I first broke a bone in my back, a simple task like ironing was agony. I saw an advert in The Brampton Parish Magazine for strength and balance classes and thought I’d give them a go. As a result I am now definitely stronger; even my husband has noticed how my confidence and mobility have much improved. I can do simple tasks again that I once took for granted and also do the things I enjoy like gardening. I would certainly encourage all older people to give the strength and balance exercises a go to make sure they are getting the most out of life and stay stronger for longer."

Cllr John Palmer, whose executive responsibilities include One Leisure Active Lifestyles, said: "We are delighted to be involved in such a fantastic campaign. The RightStart classes that we offer provide an excellent opportunity for the residents of Huntingdonshire to improve their strength and balance, which will in turn, help our residents to stay fit and well."

For more information on the classes that the council has to offer, contact Danielle Sancaster, Active Lifestyles Development Officer at Danielle.sancaster@huntingdonshire.gov.uk or telephone 01480 387047. Alternatively, visit Stay Stronger for Longer for more information on the campaign.