Merton helps residents get into shape

Merton Council and Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust (PCT) are giving residents a helping hand to get their endorphins flowing, chase away those winter blues and keep to their New Year’s resolutions.

January can be the gloomiest month in the calendar but Merton Council is hoping regular exercise and a healthy diet will help put a smile on residents’ faces. The council and the PCT are funding a new scheme for over 50s living in east Merton who are overweight to get fit and into shape*.

People taking part in the programme will be offered a free introductory pack worth £10 and for the first 12 weeks they will only have to pay £2 a week instead of the usual £6.50. The second 12 weeks are free and once a member manages to lose between five and 10% of their body weight they will receive a £25 voucher – covering the cost of their first 12 weeks in the scheme.

The weight loss programme will be run with Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness experts. Managers will have training in nutrition, exercise and motivating people to help them commit to the scheme. To sign up for the programme, local people should contact Caroline Pitt on 020 8542 2992.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for housing, adult care and health, Councillor Linda Scott said: “We want to do everything possible to encourage residents to adopt healthier lifestyles with the aim of leading happier and longer lives.’

The developer of the scheme, Deborah Norman, Registered Dietician and Senior Public Health Strategist, Sutton and Merton PCT said:

“This is a very exciting opportunity to improve health in Merton. Being overweight affects both physical and mental health. This scheme aims to help
people who need to lose weight, giving them a choice of venues and times to attend for professional advice in a supportive and fun environment. Attending these classes and learning how to be healthier really works.”