Female-only lifestyle and exercise programme kicks off to improve fitness levels

Women across Leicester are being encouraged to join forces and get active in a bid to improve their health and drive down their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

A 12-week activity and lifestyle programme has been launched and is being run by coaches from Leicester City Football Club.

Healthy Goals is an all-female group which kicks off at the Belgrave Health Centre on Thursday, February 28 between 10am and midday. 

It has been launched by the Leicester Changing Diabetes programme, a city-wide campaign to reduce type 2 diabetes rates, with the support of Active Leicester.

Dr Deirdre Harrington, academic lead for Leicester Changing Diabetes, said:

“We’re in the middle of a diabetes epidemic and type 2 diabetes numbers are continuing to grow, which is why we wanted to do something that attracts women, who might be lacking in confidence or find it intimidating entering a gym for the first time.

“Through research we’ve carried out at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, where the Leicester Changing Diabetes team is based, we know that exercise plays a large part of preventing or managing type 2 diabetes, which is why we wanted to launch an-all female activity and lifestyle group.”

Sunny Rohit, Project Officer at the Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Health, who is organising the programme, said:

“The aim of Healthy Goals is to encourage women of all ages, who may have let their fitness levels reduce over time, to get active once again.

“The group has been developed so all attendees get the opportunity to participate in some gentle exercise, while also learning some tops tips on how to improve their diet and lifestyle.”

The programme will last three months and each weekly session will cost each attendee £1.

Leicester Changing Diabetes is a partnership programme with Novo Nordisk and the Leicester Diabetes Centre based at Leicester General Hospital. The global initiative Cities Changing Diabetes was created by pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk and was launched in response to the dramatic rise of diabetes within urban areas.  

The Leicester Diabetes Centre – a partnership and collaboration between the Leicester’s Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Leicester – is an international Centre of Excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.

Professor Davies CBE, Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre and Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said:

“This programme provides an excellent opportunity for the women of Leicester to make a small start in improving their lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes is associated with poor diet and lack of activity so encouraging people – of all ages – to get and stay active is extremely important.

“We’re doing as much as we can to promote healthier lifestyles across Leicester in a bid to drive down the number of people who are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

The Healthy Goals programme is the perfect way to empower women and give them the opportunity to take better care of their health.”

To sign up to the Healthy Goals programme, email Sundeep Rohit on sunny.rohit@leicester.ac.uk or call him on 0116 258 8964.

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