TLP Cardiac Exercise via Zoom – One Year Anniversary
8th April 2021
This morning whilst beginning another cardiac exercise session via Zoom I was reminded by one of my loyal members (Jen) that we had been going for just over a year since the first Lockdown. I never would have imagined that firstly I would be running online cardiac rehab exercise at all, and second that it would have proved to be so successful as well as being adhered to by virtually everyone a year down the line (long term exercise adherence is generally very poor).
The feedback and enthusiasm I have received from my regular participants throughout has been tremendous and has undoubtedly helped to keep me feeling more positive during this difficult period, although I’m not ashamed of admitting I’ve had some real low points as well as a lingering fear about whether or not I could earn enough to cover the mortgage, bills and provide for my children – especially little Olivia who is only 17 months old now.
Here is just one example of some of the feedback that has given me a real boost…
“What a lifesaver Richard’s Zoom Cardiac exercise classes have been during this Covid period. Not only ensuring a well needed routine of brilliantly run 4 x morning sessions per week, which has improved my personal fitness greatly to the point, I am far much more healthier now than when I started! How many people locked down for so long can say that? The enormous professionalism and style of Richard’s classes, ensuring each exercise can be done by all levels of fitness and mobility, by his great demonstrations for each level of our attendees ability is so magic. No-one is left out from the unfit learner to the fit experts. I do so look forward daily now to each session, catching up live with the other class members who have become great friends. We so enjoy our chats and banter prior to Richard starting the warm-up session and also at the end of the lessons. What really sets Richard’s lessons apart from other instructors is his massive qualifications and cardiac rehabilitation knowledge we all benefit greatly from whether it be about our medication or symptoms advice and also arranges Cardiologist Webinars for us. All this and much more like any equipment we might like, eg small weights, can be purchased at bargain prices from him and his prices are the most competitive on the market. A life-saving bargain. It does not get any better than that!” Phil Careless, Hove
Following the first lockdown my job as ‘Lead Cardiac Rehab Exercise Physiologist’ for the charity (Take Heart Group) that I have dedicated the last 16 years to, suddenly ceased to exist. Now without any regular income and an awareness that many of my patients that I was used to seeing face to face would be anxious to know what they would do now to keep themselves fit and healthy we piloted a small online exercise class.
We started off with about 10 people and this has grown to around 35 regulars, whom frequently tell me it has given them structure and a daily routine, social connection, safety from Covid-19, much improved fitness and wellbeing, and an interactive platform to ask health related questions or share concerns about the pandemic. Perhaps most importantly we have a bit of a laugh and a joke and mostly try to avoid heated medical or political debates, as this pandemic has undoubtedly created some polar opposite viewpoints.
We could have helped many more recovering cardiac patients throughout lockdown but sadly our efforts were not supported or promoted locally. In fact one new patient told me that all he was offered was a phone call and a sheet of exercises to follow – which he said was incredibly uninspiring and he didn’t continue with. I’m not sure how this approach is somehow safer or more effective than an interactive zoom class with an instructor with 17 years cardiac rehab experience?
Anyway with the help of my web designer (Gavin Reynoldson) and some input from my very dear friend, and client Rosemary Wellman we launched the Lifestyle Physiologist website – which has already received 8 FIVE STAR GOOGLE REVIEWS despite only being in existence for a few months.
To kick off January 2021 – we also delivered a hugely successful Webinar with award-winning Cardiologist – Dr Aseem Malhotra on “ How to optimise your Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health” with over 200 attendees.
This event included a fascinating presentation from the Doc and was followed by a 90-minute Q&A. We received an enormous amount of positive feedback following this event, which made it all worthwhile organising.
Now with the vaccine roll out – virtually all of the clinically vulnerable and those over 60 years have some hope that we are heading out of this disaster. Herd immunity is apparently reached on Monday 12th of April which is encouraging. Although there is talk of reopening group exercise classes in May – how practical or safe that will be for people with chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes or obesity remains to be seen.
For now, my participants inform me that they wish to carry on with the online circuits indefinitely, although I haven’t ruled out the possibility of running indoor group cardiac exercise later this year.
All the best,