Keeping fit with a public exercise trail at TMZ 't Hof in the Netherlands
TriviumMeulenbeltZorg 't Hof in Hengelo wanted to make outdoor exercise easier and more enjoyable when the weather is pleasant. Exercise is not only beneficial for physical health but also promotes self-reliance and longevity. To facilitate this, we have developed a diverse exercise trail along the footpath surrounding our nursing home. This public space is open to everyone, inviting residents and visitors alike to engage in physical activity.
Exercising outside with an exercise trail is much more fun
The exercise instructors at TMZ Hengelo have always been passionate about outdoor workouts. Previously, they had to transport a lot of equipment, but now, the equipment is readily available and can be moved effortlessly. Linde Melgers, an exercise educator and one of the initiators, shares, "We noticed that people derive more enjoyment from exercising outdoors, and it motivates them further. We wanted to embrace this." Introducing an exercise trail adds even more value to the workout experience compared to a single central location. The exercise equipment was thoughtfully selected and strategically placed to cater to different needs, ensuring accessibility for everyone. Residents can follow the trail using a wheelchair, walker, or simply on foot, engaging in various exercises at each station. "Yalp played a pivotal role in suggesting the concept of creating an exercise trail along the walking path instead of a centralized exercise garden. Throughout the entire process, we received excellent guidance and support. It was truly fantastic!"
Exercising in a relaxed way
The exercise trail in TMZ, 't Hof and the nearby Borsthuis, is already frequented by many residents. According to Linde, "Everyone who comes here walks around the building. It's so convenient when all the equipment is readily available. It creates a relaxed atmosphere for exercise, making it all the more inviting." The trail offers a diverse and challenging experience, with equipment designed to improve eye-finger coordination, balance, strength, and rotational arm and leg movements. All the exercises contribute to the residents' self-reliance, while the communal aspect of doing it together provides a social boost.
Significant progress within a matter of weeks
Linde: "The beauty of the exercise trail lies in its accessibility to all. An inspiring example is one of the residents who had the honour of cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony. Despite being visually impaired, this remarkable woman walks the trail almost daily, deriving immense joy from it. In the beginning, we primarily focused on basic exercises together. She needed time to familiarize herself with the trail and develop a sense of connection with it.
"The strength of the exercise trail is that it is accessible to everyone."
- Linde Melgers, exercise educator TriviumMeulenbeltZorg
Outdoor rehabilitation treatments
Various departments at TMZ utilize the exercise equipment, including the rehabilitation team, who expressed interest in using the exercise trail. A bridge apparatus is necessary for their treatments. Linde explained, "Previously, treatments were exclusively conducted indoors due to the location of the bridge we use. With the addition of an outdoor bridge, we can now extend the treatments outside, much to everyone's delight."
Enjoying outdoor activities with family
Within TMZ, exercise educators play a crucial role in promoting physical activity. However, the support of families and volunteers is equally important. According to Linde, when families visit, they usually spend their time indoors, either in the room or at the restaurant, while enjoying a cup of coffee. However, when children are present, the visits tend to be short-lived. Thanks to the introduction of the exercise trail, we have noticed that visitors now opt to head outside more quickly. This is especially true when they are accompanied by their grandchildren, as the residents truly cherish these moments. Consequently, these visits tend to last longer, as children also find joy in outdoor activities.
Valuable information is essential for utilizing the equipment effectively. Consequently, we aim to arrange workshops or casual sessions where we provide explanations to families and volunteers on equipment usage. Additionally, we create exercise cards that will be affixed to the equipment. This approach allows us to inform individuals about the possibilities and promote optimal utilization for achieving desired outcomes.