Training meeting for the FIT&Wise Project

On Thursday 4 November, through the videoconference modality, an interesting training meeting was held – for sports operators – relating to the European project FIT & Wise, which sees the UISP Territorial Committee Ciriè Settimo Chivasso APS as a partner association. FIT & Wise, co-financed by the European Commission under the Erasmus + Sport program, is aimed above all at people over 65 – with particular attention to those who reside in residences for the elderly and who live alone – in order to protect their health by increasing the level of physical activity practiced. Movement, in fact, is vital for the human being: not only from the physical point of view – it is no mystery that physical activity is useful for preventing certain diseases and fighting obesity – but also from the psychological point of view, improving the mood and helping to reduce stress levels. This project, which sees the Slovenian organization Institute TREND-PRIMA Maribor as the leader, provides a series of exercises to improve balance, increase muscle strength and increase flexibility, specially structured by the students of the Serbian University of Belgrade – Department of Sport and Physical Education and aimed at that segment of the population over 65 who is physically inactive. And these exercises were the subject of discussion and comparison of the aforementioned meeting, which involved young collaborators of the Ciriè Settimo Chivasso Committee, but also instructors who have been working for years in the field of Adapted Physical Activity and who therefore boast considerable experience with seniors.

The meeting in question, coordinated by the Director of the Committee, Roberto Rinaldi – also the Referent of International Projects – and by the collaborator Giada Rapa, led to an interesting comparison on the exercises proposed by the Serbian University, analyzing the criticalities and difficulties, but also the strengths of FIT & Wise. Some exercises were in fact considered particularly complicated to convey to elderly subjects, who could – for example – be suffering from joint or neck pain, while others were considered very useful to help improve flexibility and balance, but also the ability coordination. The discussion on the different methods of approaching users was also very stimulated, between those who prefer to propose more “complex” exercises to encourage the development of new connections and those who instead promote targeted activities. In both cases, however, always taking into account the physical conditions of the users. Another particularly complicated point is certainly linked to the place where the exercises are performed: FIT & Wise in fact provides outdoor courses – in urban environments such as city parks, courtyards, playgrounds and even woods – but the weather conditions do not always allow the normal performance of activities.

During the meeting there was also the intervention of Marina Ottino -ex manager of ASLTO 4 in the Prevention Services, and now responsible for the territorial AFA- who recalled the importance of movement and the fight against sedentary lifestyle especially in the of public health. “Physical activity produces far-reaching benefits – Ottino recalled – because it promotes healthy growth for young people and adolescents, helps prevent weight gain in middle-aged and elderly subjects, helps maintain a certain level of quality of life and independence “. The next – and last – meeting on the FIT & Wise project will take place on 1 December 2021 in Turin: on this occasion the various partners – which in addition to those previously mentioned also involve the ASD Margherita Sports and Vita of Bari and the association Sport Viv of the Croatian city of Samobor- will discuss the exercises and how to offer them to users.