SMILE logoJade Amis, HCPA’s SMILE Engagement & Wellbeing Tutor, has recently completed a 24-week wheelchair based exercise course with residents at Elizabeth House in Welwyn Garden City.

HCPA’s SMILE offer exercise classes to everyone in Hertfordshire, including those who may not find it very easy to be active in care and residential settings.

Research shows that it is never too late to adopt and reap the health benefits of engaging in a more active lifestyle. Our exercise programmes can be delivered to individuals or to a group of people and are tailored to the needs of the group. A range of sessions can be delivered including chair based or standing aerobic exercise.

Exercises are designed to support individuals to be as independent as possible by strengthening muscles to allow them to continue to undertake activities for daily living.

These classes can be tailored for people living with dementia or cognitive impairment.


SMILE Engagement & Wellbeing Tutor Jade Amis with the residents of Elizabeth House on their final day of the course

“The residents at Elizabeth House really enjoyed the exercise course and were always ready and raring to go! The hour sessions were packed with different exercises tailored to aid the prevention of falls. The course has lots of other health benefits too, including improved core strength, flexibility and enhanced wellbeing for residents.”

A typical chair based exercise sessions includes:

  • CMarching.gifirculation boosters aiming to warm-up the residents and get the blood flowing through the body
  • Mobility exercises which are great for relaxing and loosening stiff joints
  • Stretches to allow a greater range of arm-circlesmovement in muscles and release tension
  • Cardio-vascular endurance section in order to condition the heart and lungs. This can help to give them more energy and stamina

“The strength endurance parts of the courses can help the residents on a day to day basis. For instance we do an upper arm curl with a resistance band which if repeated enough can really increase upper body strength and help with lifting objects whether it’s a cup of tea or a heavy book” Explains Jade.

“Another exercise is the outer thigh strengthener with the resistance band which is used to improve strength and balance resulting in a reduction of falls. One resident at Elizabeth House actually reduced her risk of falling from 71% to 56%!”

“It has been a real pleasure working with the residents at Elizabeth house and has been great to watch them improve on a week no week!”

The course is one of many projects from SMILE funded by HAFLS for up to 10 service users at one hour per week for 20 weeks.

To book onto this class or for further information about other sessions SMILE are able to offer, please call 01707 536020 or email!