Who are we?
The Health & Wellbeing team is funded through West Lothian Health & Social Care Partnership to support people with long term conditions to become more active, manage their condition through exercise and live better in their community.
Professor Sally Davies (former chief medical officer for England) stated that ‘if exercise was a drug, it would be a wonder drug’. Being active is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. Physical activity can improve brain health, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes but can also help in maintaining a healthy weight and managing mental health & wellbeing. It can help in pain management, reduce reliance on medication, improve sleep quality and in some instances reverse conditions but most importantly it can improve a person’s quality of life. It helps improve a person’s ability to do every day activities and increases independence.
About the team
The Health & Wellbeing team consists of a mixture of Health & Wellbeing Consultants, Health & Wellbeing Advisors and Weight Management Specialist. All the team have Level 3 Exercise Referral Qualification and our consultants have Level 4 qualifications including cardiac, pulmonary, cancer and falls prevention.
What do we do?
The Health & Wellbeing team work with GPs, nurses, physios, mental health teams, link workers and a whole host of health & social care professionals to provide information on how to encourage patients to become active. The team also work in partnership with NHS colleagues within Cardiac and Pulmonary rehab to provide an exit pathway for people to continue to be active following their cardiac event or progression of their conditions. We also work closely with Macmillan Cancer Support Link Workers through their Improving Cancer Journey initiative which support people who have had a diagnosis of cancer by providing a holistic needs assessment. For more information, please see here.
Our Health & Wellbeing programmes use evidence-based interventions following the Scottish Physical Activity Referral standards to support people who may not have been active in a long time, who are nervous about becoming active or have been newly diagnosed with a health condition. Our aim is for people to live better with their long-term condition, feel better about themselves and have an improved quality of life. The programme will build confidence and motivation in a safe and structured environment.
We understand that it can be daunting starting on a physical activity journey if you haven’t been active in a while. Our team provide knowledge and the expertise to get you started with a range of different activities and also give advice on navigating Xcite venues, showing you round the gym and how to use the equipment.
What do we offer?
There is no one size fits all approach when getting starting on your physical activity journey, everyone is different. Therefore, there are a range of options to suit all levels of ability, physical fitness and most important to provide an option that works for you. These options include Easy Line, Keep Going, 1:1 gym, weight management and more. To see the full range of options, see here.
The Health & Wellbeing team also work closely with the Ageing Well project funded through NHS Lothian, West Lothian Council and West Lothian Leisure. This volunteer led project works with adults aged 50+ to become more active, reduce social isolation and increase social connectedness. The project delivers a range of activities including line dancing, craft groups, walking groups and signing for health – there is an activity out there for everyone. For more information, see here.
The referral process
If you have a health condition, not currently active or a member with Xcite, and would like to get started, speak to your health or social care professional to make a referral.
For more information on the referral process, see here.
Top tips to start getting active from the Health and Wellbeing team
- Set yourself small manageable goals
- Pick an activity that you enjoy, walking is a great way to get started
- Park further away in the car park from the entrance or get off a bus stop earlier
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- If you have an activity tracker, measure your average number of steps and then challenge yourself to do more each week
What people have said about our programme:
'I really enjoy attend these classes, it has made me feel a sense of camaraderie and I always enjoy meeting up with the group. The exercise definitely makes me feel fitter and I feel the benefits every day'
'I was a bit nervous when I first started the programme but I have really enjoyed it and the instructors and others In the class are lovely. I look to continue with these classes and make friends at these classes.'