Twelve students and volunteers got together for a healthy, nutritious lunch at Dumfries and Galloway College’s Zest training restaurant on Wednesday 2 March to celebrate completing the Heart and Soul programme.

Heart and Soul is a collaboration between NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Building Healthy Communities team and HND Fitness, Health and Exercise students from Dumfries and Galloway College. The students worked with twelve people aged over 50 to design and deliver a bespoke six week fitness and nutrition programme.

Building Healthy Communities’ Operational Manager, Sheila Campbell and Self Management Programme Worker Helen Mackintosh helped identify those who took part in the programme.

Sheila said: “We are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people in Dumfries and Galloway and this programme is an excellent way of bringing students together with people who would benefit from their skills and knowledge.”

Helen added: “The people who took part were all over 50 and have a range of health conditions all of which can be improved with good diet and regular exercise and each student teamed up with a participant to design a food and fitness regime specifically for them.”

Sports tutor from Dumfries and Galloway College, Paula McMinn works closely with the HND Fitness, Health and Exercise students. She said: “The people taking part went through a range of fitness and health tests which gave the students the information they needed to plan a six week fitness programme. They were also given suitable and realistic exercise and lifestyle changes to improve their health and wellbeing.

“Students also looked at their client’s nutritional intake and gave advice on how to adjust to a healthier diet including healthy eating options, cooking styles and portion control.

“The volunteers received a bespoke food and fitness plan designed to help them increase their fitness and improve their quality of life. They were also given suitable and realistic exercise and lifestyle changes that they would be able to keep going after the programme ended. The students got great experience of working with real people with a wide range of medical conditions that they had to take into account when developing the programmes.”

The Heart and Soul programme is due to start again later in the year. For further information, including how you can take part, please contact Building Healthy Communities Health Support Worker Carolyn Watson on [email protected] (01387 279 279).

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