Green Prescription is a national initiative designed to get adults of all ages into regular physical activity.
The free, 3-4 month health and wellness programme is delivered by Harbour Sport. It aims to increase physical activity and improve nutrition of adults aged 18 years and over. Healthy Lifestyle Advisors provide individuals with support and motivation to become independently active with the ultimate goal of improving health.
There are different levels and the programme can be as intense or as light as the client chooses.
It has had the reputation of being only for older people, however with the rise of medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity, as well as mental health problems, Green Prescription has become more far reaching than ever.
One client, Rusalka Munsi, joined the Green Prescription programme after gaining a considerable amount of weight. During her consultation she agreed to new eating habits, a swimming routine and some weight training.
“I had no choice but to knuckle down and get some hard work done,” Rusalka says. She was extremely committed and she says she enjoyed the social interaction within the exercise groups combined with the ‘me time’ that came with gym sessions.
As a result of all the hard work she noticed changes both physically and in her everyday life. “I began to feel more energetic and less lethargic,” she says.
Rusalka lost an impressive 10kg and has trimmed seven centimetres off her waist.
Clients that would benefit from a Green Prescription are referred by their health professional, although the client can also opt to put themselves forward to receive the programme.
Participants say they notice an improvement in things such as energy, fitness, mental wellbeing, blood pressure, weight, posture, mobility of joints and joint pain and confidence. It is often said that the psychological benefits that come with regular exercise are the main reason people continue with the programme.
The Green Prescription has changed in the last year to offer more layers of support, from advice and information for absolute beginners to face-to-face consultations followed by monthly support.
In the months leading up to Christmas, there will be exercise sessions put on in the community for those that have a Green Prescription, free of charge.