Vernon and Glennis’s Story: Lockdown Life Post Steady Steps

Vernon and Glennis holding hula hoops

Married couple Vernon and Glennis attended the Steady Steps classes at Whetstone a few years ago and have been going to the Steady Steps Plus class ever since. However, due to the pandemic, all group exercise classes had to be paused. In this story, fitness instructor Nic Appleton, catches up with Vernon and Glennis to find out how they have been keeping active during lockdown.

About Vernon
Vernon is 83 years old and has had a knee replacement. He experiences quite a bit of pain continuously and that affects his balance.

About Glennis
Glennis had a left hip replacement in 2000. All was fine but then that changed in 2013 when she fell down the stairs while away on holiday.

About Nic Appleton
Qualified instructor for the Steady Steps Plus class.

Nic Appleton

How have you come about doing any sort of exercise in the first place and how has it benefited you?


We saw some information about what the council was doing (Steady Steps) so I rang the council and we came to see you and had the necessary checks and talk before starting the classes. Even though I was in a little discomfort with my knee, I quite enjoyed it then and still do now because of the social interaction with the group. We can talk to people in the group and have a natter.


Vernon got in touch with the council and I think Eleanor (former Blaby District Council employee)  said do you know anyone else who would like to come along? He said yes, my wife would, so I came along to help with his leg and generally loosen myself up a bit. That was in 2018 when we started. It was good meeting others too.

Nic Appleton

When the Steady Steps programme first started, everybody was given a booklet which they could use as a diary and record any concerns or feedback. There was also some exercises in there. When I was talking to you over lockdown, you were saying that, you had been able to use that as a guide to follow and actually do the exercises regularly and that’s really encouraging for me.

What motivated you to carry on doing exercise and what benefit did you see out of it?


Vernon and I used to go walking together but he has difficulty doing that now and we don’t have a dog so im having difficulty to motivate myself to walk on my own. Therefore, these booklets were a way for me do exercise at home.


In October, I had a blood test and the doctor said there is slight tendency towards diabetes but you don’t have diabetes so your not to worry. However, she did check my weight and diet. The doctor said i’m not overweight but you need to be thinking about exercise. I had been procrastinating for long enough and its time I did something about it. I set a new year’s resolution to exercise. So, we got the Steady Steps books out in January. It’s difficult to remember the exercises from the classes, but we still had the bands from the classes and started following the exercises in the book. It helped me to loosen up and also strengthened my left leg, which was getting weak.

Nic Appleton

So, at the moment, your both doing the exercises at home?


Yes, for about 40 minutes 3 times a week as well as attending your class over Zoom on Wednesday.

Nic Appleton

If you were talking to other people your age, what advice would you give them about exercise?


I think it’s a lot easier in a group with an instructor. It’s a big motivation as you see other people around in your age group. Otherwise, its difficult to know what to do without some sort of guide.


It would help to say before we started we couldn’t do this but we now can. It’s an enjoyable activity and I don’t consider it a chore. The booklets are really helpful.

Nic Appleton

It’s been great to do the classes via Zoom and interact with yourselves others given the circumstances we are in. But, you don’t appreciate how much it means to see people for real until you can’t do it. I would certainly say that anybody who’s doing any kind of exercise or physical activity is definitely at an advantage, whatever their age, but especially in your age group. Do try and keep it up!

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