Changing the conversation about health

“I’ve given daily Zoom exercise classes since March” Physio Sarah Bazin on keeping people fit during lockdown

Chartered Physiotherapist, Sarah Bazin, was given the task of creating a free exercise programme for College of Medicine members – and a wider audience – back in late March. Here, Sarah, who worked as a NHS physio for 40 years, offers some insight into how she did it, and why she’s not stopping anytime soon…

All the way back in March 2020 when we had our first taste of lockdown, I was asked by The College of Medicine – of which I am a Trustee and Council member – to run online exercise sessions for those not quite ready to do PE with Joe Wicks each day but feeling that exercise would be helpful.

To sign up for Sarah’s classes, click here

Physiotherapist Sarah Bazin took on the challenge of helping people exercise during the first UK lockdown, and she’s still going strong

I discussed this challenge with our daughter, also a physiotherapist, who enquired if I planned to wear lycra to undertake this new role!

She advised that at the very least I should wear trousers but my response was ‘Why change the habit of a life time?…’ I would wear a skirt. Having decided that the next decision was where and how to do it, what to do and, of course, would people be interested and find it helpful.

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Zoom and the conservatory were the answer to the first two questions. Then the nutty issue of what to do for the greatest benefit and how to structure half an hour; I had visions of being back in the gym at Broad Street with Miss Hodgeson!

I also came to the conclusion that I would have to demonstrate the exercises. These would include breathing, mobility, balance, strengthening and, depending on the activity levels of the participants, a little cardiovascular work-out . At the end of the session, there would be five minutes of well-earned relaxation.

Following an email to the membership of the College and, with some trepidation on my part, we started on Monday 20th April and, apart from two days when the internet failed, I have proceeded each weekday morning since then.

Class membership now also includes some members from the church we attend, my school friends, my husband’s choir colleagues and friends of friends and extends from Scotland to West Wales to Somerset, the Netherlands and France! 

Then the nutty issue of what to do for the greatest benefit and how to structure half an hour; I had visions of being back in the gym at Broad Street with Miss Hodgeson!

Sarah on structuring her class

The challenges have included demonstrating exercises while continuing to talk and, due to the mirror view on the screen, to say right side for the group while remembering to do the exercise on my left side – good for staving off my own chances of developing dementia! 

 Apart from the real value of undertaking half an hour of organised exercise each day, I explain the reason for the exercises and their benefit.

Positive outcomes of the sessions have included mental and physical well-being, social interaction for those living on their own plus giving a structure to their day – eat breakfast and get ready for a prompt 9.30am start.

We had a little break over Christmas, but started again on Monday 4th January…why don’t you join us?

To get involved with Sarah’s classes, click here