Former heart patients get in the saddle to improve fitness

Barry Cook with members of the Sunderland Cardiac Support Group, Mary Pearson, and John and Sheila Jurgens keeping active at the Seaburn Centre.
Barry Cook with members of the Sunderland Cardiac Support Group, Mary Pearson, and John and Sheila Jurgens keeping active at the Seaburn Centre.
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FORMER patients are getting in the saddle to boost their fitness.

Members of the Sunderland Cardiac Support Group are benefiting from a cash injection from the Big Lottery fund which is helping them on the road to good health.

More than £7,000 has been awarded to the lifeline group to fund its exercise classes for older people.

As well as former cardiac patients, the sessions, which are held at the Seaburn Centre, are open to anyone over 60 who is interested in health and fitness.

Barry Cook, secretary of Sunderland Cardiac Support Group, said: “For more elderly people, it can be intimidating going into a Wellness Centre which is full of young people.

“Our classes give people over 60 the chance to exercise in a class which is social as well as physical.

“Anyone can come along, as long as they have a note from a GP or practice nurse to say they are fit enough to exercise. We often get referrals from hospital, so our fitness instructors are at the same level as you would get with physiotherapy in hospital.

“They also have qualifications from the British Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation.”

As well as exercise classes, the group holds monthly meetings, walks and day trips.

Sessions, costing £2, are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 11am and 11.15am to 12.15pm.