Coleraine Borough Council together with The Northern Health and Social Care Trust have recently delivered a healthy lifestyle programme across the Borough called ‘Fun, Food and Fitness’.
The six month programme, rolled out in partnership with Northern Trust Dietetics and Health Improvement/Community Development departments along with Coleraine Borough Council Environmental Services and Leisure Services supported both adults and children who were keen to review their lifestyles. The aim was to support those attending to lose weight and make positive changes to their diets and physical activity levels.
The programme has been unique in itself as both young people and adults have participated in three specific elements, which included one to one sessions with a registered dietitian. Elements included a six-week practical “Cook it!” programme led by Coleraine Borough Council and participation in a 12-week physical activity programme supported by Fitness instructors at local leisure centres (funded by Health Improvement/Community Development at then Northern Trust).
The pilot project has been particularly positive in achieving significant weight loss within the group losing a total of 6 stone and 10 lb (4% total weight) so far. Participants have commented that they have already begun to put their healthy lifestyle practices into action with preparation of lower fat meals, including fruit and vegetables in their diet and committing to physical activity.
The programme invited participants to an evaluation and feedback day on July 31st where there was an opportunity to share learning experiences and provide constructive feedback regarding the programme. The Mayor of Coleraine, Councilor Sam Cole, supported their achievements with a certificate presentation followed by a celebration.
It is envisaged that following the evaluation report of the project the programme will be delivered widely within the Borough of Coleraine and has potential to be rolled out to other areas of the Northern Trust.
Cllr Cole said: “Programmes such as these are extremely important in the education and understanding of the long term benefits associated with living a healthy life style.
“Making healthy food choices can be immensely beneficial to the body both physically and mentally and the recent Olympic games in London have been a huge motivation to all to get out there and take part in some physical activities.”