Exercise Programme Instructor: A Day in the Life of Callum

March 12, 2024

Welcome to our ‘A Day in the Life’ series, where we chat to HILS team members to see what they get up to in a typical day and the impact their efforts have on clients across our services.

Our Exercise at Home programme is delivered by our Active Ageing team, which consists of qualified exercise instructors with experience of working with older people. They can help you get more physically active and mobile, build your confidence, and feel better. The programme is completely free.

Read on to get a glimpse into a day in the life of HILS Active Ageing Instructor, Callum, when he’s out visiting clients and running exercise sessions…

Smiling Active Ageing Instructor with exercise equipment

What does a typical day look like?

Preparation is key…

Callum starts most mornings by planning sessions for one-to-one client visits according to individuals’ specific needs. Some people are more mobile than others, and everybody has their own levels of strength and balance as well as personal limits and health conditions to consider. He will often give clients a call to confirm the day’s sessions can still take place, making sure they are happy to go ahead with their bookings and not feeling unwell. The Health & Wellbeing Admin Team book new clients onto the Exercise at Home programme from the waiting list database, so instructors like Callum have several clients booked into their calendars each day. all the information they need when visiting clients.

The programme is made up of eight sessions once per week, and the initial sessions are called baseline evaluations where the client and instructor can get to know each other. All clients are different, so exercise sessions need to be adapted and specifically tailored to individual targets and goals. For a housebound client, their goal might be to do one lap of walking round the garden by the end of the programme. A client who has suffered several falls might want to improve their strength, and set a target of being able to stand for longer without a walking aid to improve their confidence whilst out and about.

Some clients may have a health condition and want to feel stronger and more able to cope with difficult symptoms, like our most recent Client of the Season Winner, Maureen, who lives with Parkinson’s. Everybody is different, which is why our one-to-one programme is tailored to your needs.

Time to head out to the first client of the day!

With new clients, all relevant information that Callum needs is included in programme notes by the Admin Team. This means that he knows where to go at what time, who he is going to be working with, and whether there is anything specific needed on arrival such as tricky parking, using a keysafe, or announcing himself loudly upon entering the client’s garden gate, for example.

Callum will support his client through light strength, balance, and mobility exercises in the comfort of their own home. This could include a variety of tailored exercises such as sit to stand movements, leg raises, resistance band exercises, and more. He will talk the client though various resources that may help them to implement the exercises in their o

wn time outside of the Active Ageing sessions, helping to form daily habits to keep them strong and mobile.

After one hour, Callum says goodbye and jumps back into the car. Time to jot down session notes before heading to the next client!

Post-session admin…

After the session has finished, Callum will make notes of main achievements, areas for improvement, and any other important factors, ready for when he has some admin time to sit at his laptop and write up a summary of the session on HILS’ dedicated Active Ageing portal. This can include updates on progression, such as if the client can step up to the next resistance band strength or can manage a balance exercise for a longer duration than before, as well as areas that need a little extra support. This helps Callum to build a profile for the client and keep a log of their progress throughout the programme.

Once the client has finished the eight-week exercise programme, Callum will take his client through their progress summary and encourage them to use what they have learnt throughout the programme to remain healthy and independent. He will also signpost the client to any other services he feels they may benefit from, whether that’s a group class outside their home or details of more ways to stay active inside their house or out in the garden. He will also consider any other area of the client’s life that may benefit from additional support that is unrelated to exercise, such as befriending services or equipment specialists.

After a client has been discharged, it’s time for Callum to contact the Admin Team again to get some new clients booked into his diary!

It doesn’t stop there…

Every Monday, Callum also runs the Group Exercise Class at Friendship House in Hatfield from 11am until 12pm. One of our other instructors, Tyler, runs the same session on a Thursday. These classes include gentle movement to improve your strength and balance, as well as some chair-based exercises.

Firstly, Callum needs to prepare the plan for the group class. He arrives at Friendship House early to make sure the workout area is safe for participants, and then sets up the room with chairs and any equipment they will be using. Once people begin to arrive, he takes the register, greeting any returning clients with the same enthusiasm as new faces. We have an exciting Loyalty Card scheme where for every eight HILS stamps you collect, you get the ninth class completely free!

An hour of light strength and balance exercises takes place with some fun music in the background, using Callum’s expertise in helping people to stay active. Attendees can enjoy refreshments afterwards, and can speak with Callum about what they found difficult or enjoyable when trying out the exercises.

After the Group Exercise Class, Callum will get everything packed away and either head off to an Active Ageing client’s home for a one-to-one session somewhere in North Hertfordshire, or back home or to the office to catch up on some admin.

We are so grateful to team members like Callum who go above and beyond to run great services for older and disabled people in the local community. Are you interested in joining the HILS family alongside great people like Callum? Check out our current vacancies, we’d love to hear from you.

People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term health conditions and diseases. Physical activity can also improve your mood, energy level, and sleep quality, as well as reducing the risk of falls. Starting or returning to regular exercise can be daunting, which is why our free-of-charge Active Ageing service is here. Sign up today to be added to our waiting list.