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Programme launched for health visitors to help mums exercise

The Institute of Health Visiting (IHV) has acquired a national programme to help health visitors encourage mothers to exercise.

This comes after 73% of health visitors said that in the communities where they work, there is a lack of safe, accessible and free opportunities for mothers to be physically active, a survey from the institute of 653 health visitors revealed.

The Ready Steady Mums (RSM) programme is a national network of community activity groups for mothers, which is expected to help mothers overcome feelings of isolation and depression, while also improving their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

In response Dr Cheryll Adams, executive director of the Institute of Health Visiting, said: “RSM will be used by health visitors to encourage mums to get together socially, while building exercise into their everyday routine.”

She added that it “demonstrates how health visiting can contribute to community development on a mass scale. This is great news for health visiting but also for local communities and for local authorities who are responsible for improving community health.”

The groups are started by one mother, with support from their health visitor, and are open to other local mums. Many of the suggested exercises include a pushchair, so that the members can participate in a social and exercise activity that includes their children.