The programme is available to anyone who is looking for rehabilitation and therapy to reduce the side-effects that appeared after infection by Covid-19.
After an initial assessment, certified Covid Recovery coaches work with individuals to develop a personal programme based on their health levels and targets.
Ed Lane, Places Leisure’s Contract Manager for Wandsworth explains: “Thankfully, most individuals who contract Covid-19 do not require hospitalisation.
“However, a period of recovery and restoration is vital for anyone who experiences Covid-19.
“Many people push themselves too far too soon, which not only decreases their speed of recovery, but can also lead them to long Covid
“Our Covid Recovery Programme has been designed to offer support and inform COVID patients to make the right decisions from the start, so that they can recover as quickly as possible, avoid longer-term complications and make the virus a part of their past.”
According to the NHS website symptoms of long covid include fatigue, chest pain and ‘brain fog’ affecting concentration and memory.
Based on February estimates by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 1.3 million people in the UK were reporting long Covid symptoms (symptoms lasting longer than four weeks after initial infection).
Katie Nolan shared her experience of the programme which she undertook in Burgess Hill with her trainer Julia Cross.
She said: “I’m really grateful to be doing this long Covid Recovery Programme. It has made such a massive difference to my well-being.
“As someone who previously loved exercise and visiting the gym, sadly long Covid stripped me of my ability to do this.
“This programme is well organised and thorough. Julia has helped give me the confidence to be in the gym.”
“I can honestly say this programme has already made such a big difference at beginning to put ‘me’ back together again.”
For anyone looking for help managing their symptoms, Ed recommends contacting their local leisure centre and speaking to one of the team.
He said: “We have specially qualified fitness staff who can help you recover and get you back to good health.”
Wandsworth Council and Places Leisure have partnered to deliver the programme across Wandsworth’s leisure centres, with fitness coaches receiving qualifications from the CAWS Rebuild training programme, which educates coaches on how to rehabilitate individuals suffering from the effects of Covid and long Covid.
Places Leisure’s CEO, Paul McPartlan added: “We are incredibly proud of the Covid Recovery Programme.
“Through training colleagues, we can in turn support local communities for the long term, helping people rebuild their health as we move forward from the challenges of the past year.”
Balham Leisure Centre, Latchmere Leisure Centre, Putney Leisure Centre, Roehampton Sports and Fitness Centre, Wandle Recreation Centre and Tooting leisure Centre have all launched Covid Recovery Programmes.