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Stepping Out: Active help for recovery from cancer

What is stepping out?

Stepping Out is an exercise and wellbeing programme designed specifically for people living with or beyond cancer. The scheme takes place at Bridport Leisure Centre. Specially-trained Level 4 cancer rehabilitation instructors provide advice and expertise for anyone wanting to make a healthier lifestyle part of their recovery.

Over the 12-week programme, you can take part in two group exercise sessions a week. These include a number of taster classes, designed to introduce you to activities you may not have tried before, like yoga or walking football. Sessions also include advice and support on issues such as nutrition, coping with fatigue, mindfulness, complementary therapies and the lymphatic system. There’s also time to relax, share your experience and make new friends.

How much does it cost?

Stepping Out sessions are free to anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis, whether you’ve just been diagnosed or finished treatment a while ago. You just need to be referred by your GP, cancer nurse specialist or other health professional.

When does it take place?

Stepping Out sessions run twice a week at Bridport Leisure Centre, on Mondays 10am-12.30pm and on Fridays 10am-11.30am. If you can’t join us at these times, you can still receive discounted exercise and support, via our Exercise on Prescription scheme.

What’s on offer

Two free exercise sessions per week for 12 weeks:

  • Mondays – 1 x 60-minute gentle circuit class designed to improve strength, flexibility, balance and general fitness followed by educational talks covering a range of wellness topics. Activities are tailored to individuals so you can go at the right pace for you.
  • Fridays – 1 x 60-minute group exercise taster session introducing new activities such as Nordic walking and Tripudio
    There will be refreshments and the chance to meet others who have experience of cancer in a supportive environment.

Why exercise?

The side effects of cancer and its treatment can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Research has shown that regular physical activity can help manage and lessen many of the problems people with cancer tend to experience. Here are just a few ways in which becoming more active during and beyond cancer, can help:

• improved energy-levels, less breathlessness, reduced fatigue
• brighter mood and improved confidence
• better stress-management and reduced anxiety
• improved bone health and reduced risk of osteoporosis
• better heart health
• improved strength and flexibility
• healthier weight
• reduced risk of associated health problems including high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke and other cancers
• increased life expectancy and potentially reduced risk of cancer recurrence.

Exercise on Prescription Scheme

If you can’t make our Stepping Out sessions on Mondays and Fridays, you can still benefit from our Exercise on Prescription scheme. If you’ve had a cancer diagnosis, just ask your GP to refer you to Bridport Leisure Centre.
Once we’ve received your referral, you’ll have an initial consultation with our Stepping Out team, where we’ll discuss your needs and devise a personal exercise plan to suit you. Classes and activities we might recommend include aqua fitness, low-impact circuits, Kinesis and time in the fitness suite. We’ll put together a 12-week plan for you to follow, and you’ll have the support of our Stepping Out team as you progress through the programme, with assessments at six and 12 weeks. Exercise on Prescription isn’t free but discounts are available.

Who to contact

For information on Stepping Out or Exercise On Prescription please contact Jo Perfect, Stepping Out Manager at Bridport Leisure Centre:  j.perfect@bridportleisure.com or call 01308 427464.