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Households across the Tees Valley are getting fit at home thanks to a new wellbeing and fitness plan.

The HowFit scheme has been setup by a local hospital consultant to help people stay fit and healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the aid of a brand new website and instructional leaflet, HowFit encourages users to sign up to a plan of simple exercises that can be carried out at home without the need for any special equipment.

The programme was created by Dr Steven Parry, Consultant Physician, and developed alongside a personal trainer and professional physiotherapists.

Dr Parry said: “Being at home for a long time during the Covid-19 pandemic means that few of us have been getting the exercise that we used to. Even before the Covid-19 virus hit, not enough of us were getting the exercise we needed to stay as fit as possible. “

“Regular exercise carries a number of important benefits, which have never been more important than during the pandemic. However, I realised that there are very few exercise programmes for people to carry out in their own home and even fewer that are suitable for people who are unfit or who have difficulty mobilising.

“HowFit has been designed to include exercises of varying difficulties, meaning that it is suitable for adults of any age, whether you currently exercise or not and without the need for any special equipment.”

David Gallagher, chief officer at NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “HowFit is a great example of a locally-produced health and wellbeing initiative which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on people across the Tees Valley. Exercising regularly brings a multitude of benefits to physical and mental health and being able to do all of the exercises in the comfort of your own home makes the programme very accessible.”

The HowFit website provides the user with a range of exercises divided into four categories -mobility, strength, cardiovascular health and also stability, balance and co-ordination – with videos and animations on hand to demonstrate how the exercise is carried out. Exercises are further split into three different difficulty levels to allow the user to choose the level that best suits their own level of fitness.