Push to encourage exercise over fears lockdown has depleted our immune systems


A GYM charity that helps vulnerable and isolated women says more needs to be done to tackle lowered immune systems among women and young girls as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

Leanne Procter, from The Billy Project, said there’s a real need to push the importance of exercise, particularly throughout winter, and states the lowering of people’s immune systems could have a devastating effect if nothing is done.

She said: “It’s a scary time at the moment and a lot of people have been inside, with not a lot to do.

“And as the days get shorter and those winter nights draw in we need to make our health and wellbeing a priority.

“The government aren’t pushing the health and physical side of things enough, people are going to get ill and we need to take responsibility for our own health.”

The Billy Project is based at Unit 2 Fitness for Women in Mill Hill, Blackburn, and is a funded scheme which provides a safe space to meet new friends while tackling loneliness and social isolation, and protects women and families through safeguarding

Recently, they have opened up their services to girls as young as 11 who feel they may want to get fit but are worried about attending a conventional gym.

Ms Procter added: “It’s not just about the fitness side of it though; it’s about making friendships and building a community and socialising, which we aren’t getting enough of at the moment.

“With the Billy Project Juniors, we hold group exercise classes, one-to-one sessions and are fully Covid-secure.

“The majority of services are closed at the minute due to Covid-19, however we are open and there’s never been a more important time to think about our health and wellbeing.”

Ms Procter wants women to know about the new referral system which has been put in place.

She said: “We’ve just set up a new self-referral system for women who don’t feel comfortable going to their own doctors, or those who are struggling to access services because of Covid.

“They can make a self referral through our portal and because we are fully open, can use the services we have on offer.”

Visit: thebillyproject.co.uk/self-referral

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