Our latest Fits Reds programme came to a conclusion last night after nine weeks of helping men from the Barnsley community improve their health.
The scheme, which is run in partnership with Be Well Barnsley, helps men who are predominantly over the age of 35 to improve their general lifestyle alongside playing football.
Participants had their progress monitored through having their weight and blood pressure measured on a weekly basis while the men were also encouraged to keep food diaries in order to improve their diet.
The initiative provides much more than just a venue for a weekly game of football, with ongoing fitness, diet and general health advice.
Those participants who completed the programme were also awarded a certificate and a free adult & child ticket voucher to be redeemed at a Barnsley Football Club home game.
On top of the physical benefits, Fit Reds also brings a group of like-minded men together with camaraderie.
The most recent participants of the programme recommended coming along to the sessions, even if you haven’t been exercising regularly previously.
They said: “It’s an environment where it’s laid back. It’s with like-minded people who have all got the same goal. We all want to live longer and get a bit fitter by watching what we eat and doing a bit of exercise. I hadn’t done exercise in two, three or four years, I used to play football and it eases you in.
“When you get 20-odd blokes from Barnsley together in a room you’re going to have a laugh. It helps with portion control, not looking at the packets, learning how much salt is in food, how much sugar is in stuff. Get yourself down. You can learn a bit about your body and play a bit of football as well.
“It’s not just yourself too. I think your family benefit as well because they see that you are trying to do it and they take it on board. Just one person being down here can have a major effect on a family unit. I thought my footballing days were over before I came here and now I feel like I’m 25 again.”
These local businesses’ vital financial backing has allowed Reds in the Community to improve the health and lifestyle of 31 local people over the last nine weeks.