Pedalling for health and wellbeing

A weekly cycling exercise class at Bupa Tasman Care Home in Henderson has seen the improvement of mobility in residents.

The cycling exercise session was the brainchild of activities coordinator Anita Silimaka who wanted to use her background in community aerobics to increase the physical activity in sedentary residents.

“The cycling can be done while seated and it’s not only improved leg strength but also lifted the spirits of the residents too. The cycling has definitely become something they look forward to doing each week. It makes exercise easy for residents and that’s a good thing,” Anita explains.

The class began about a year ago at the care home and started as a quick ten minute long session before moving to fifteen minutes. As fitness levels continued to improve, the cycling became a moderate intensity half hour cycling workout put to up-tempo music.

Physiotherapist Liz Weenink says the cycling session works because it’s a group activity where people can have fun while also getting their heart rate up for good cardiovascular health.

“It’s excellent for those with joint mobility problems or pain and those who suffer from arthritis because it reduces strain on the joints. We’ve seen residents become more mobile and they can now walk more because of the cycling.”