Stoma patients are being trained to get their health and fitness back on track.

Harrow Leisure Centre has been working to support people with stoma in a 12-week fitness programme to ensure they are not physically held back in maintaining their physical health.

The programme, which runs on behalf of Everyone Active in partnership with Harrow Council, has prescribed exercise programmes along with weekly consultation calls and fitness testing.

This scheme which supports people with stoma – an opening on the abdomen to divert waste out of the body - has been supported by the leisure centre since taking part in a study for ‘physical activity for patients living with a stoma.’

One member of the programme, Geoffrey Ellway, was referred to the leisure centre by his GP following his bowel and prostate cancer. After his initial health and lifestyle consultation, Mr Ellway was given a training plan to work on his exercises at home daily.

Alongside his exercises, the centre checked up on Mr Ellway with weekly consultation calls, to discuss progress and to update his regime accordingly.

He said: “It was great to see the changes I had made in such a short space of time. My flexibility had dramatically improved, I was able to walk for longer and faster on the treadmill and I felt fitter in myself.

“The programme definitely gave me the spur on what I needed to get more active. I’ll be keeping up with the exercises at home daily and I’d highly recommend anyone in a similar situation to me to take up the opportunity to work with the team at Harrow Leisure Centre.

“They really know what they are doing and have your best interests at heart.”

Richard Coker, a GP Referral Manager of Harrow Leisure Centre, was excited to see the progress of Mr Ellway, who is just one of the man who will be trying out the programme.

Mr Coker said: “It’s been great to see the progress our clients have made on the stoma rehabilitation programme. Geoffrey in particular took every piece of advice we provided, put it into practice and the results speak for themselves.

“It’s not just about putting people through the programme, but about giving them the tools to look after their fitness and keep active.”

While the leisure centre has only supported three individuals with stoma to get active, Mr Coker added: “We’ve got a handful of other clients currently on the programme too and we are looking forward to seeing their results.”