FREE fun and simple at-home exercise programmes for the over 60s

By | Care Home, Community

Now that the UK is on lockdown due to the global Covid-19 outbreak, wellbeing is even more important than ever, to ensure that we remain stimulated mentally, physically and emotionally.

It can be difficult to know where to start with exercising at home, so we have developed some simple and easy-to-follow weekly exercise programmes for the over 60s.

We will be adding further, progressive, stages as time goes on – watch this space! These programmes can be viewed below, or downloaded and printed to follow at home.


If you have any pain or discomfort, please do not to take part. If you are new to exercising, or have not done so in a while, please make sure you start off with small movements and progress to bigger and more difficult movements over time. 



Stretch and Flex – Repeat this section twice

Strength Movements Repeat this section twice

Coordination Movements

Oomph! Release Annual Impact Report 2019

By | Care Home, Community, Out and about

We’re delighted to release our brand new Oomph! Impact Report 2019. This has been an inspirational year for us, our clients and the residents we support. 

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • We have trained over 5,400 staff, and have delivered over 55,000 exercise classes
  • 100% of staff would recommend our training to a colleague
  • We have gone on 5,500 trips, taking 21,000 residents Out & About

You can read the full report here, for detailed information and some wonderful stories that bring the facts and stats to life.

A big thank you to all of our partners who have contributed to our success this year, we couldn’t have done it without you. We look forward to another inspiring year…

Roll on 2020!


Image: Karuna Manor, TLC

Outstanding Oomphers! at Cherry Tree Court

By | Community

Following a recent exercise training session, Cherry Tree Court, a Together Housing scheme, has seen some great physical, mental and emotional benefits for residents. Our Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, Stefan, tells us more and speaks to the team at the scheme…

Earlier this year I delivered refresher training at Cherry Tree Court for Together Housing – it was a fantastic two days. On the training, a gentleman who lives at the scheme, called Mark, sat and watched. Staff explained that Mark chose not to participate in many activities.

Upon completion of the course, the team were awarded certificates and t-shirts, and throughout this Mark looked on and asked if he could have a t-shirt. I challenged Mark to take part in 8 Oomph! sessions to earn himself his own t-shirt!

At the end of August, the team emailed me to confirm that Mark has succeeded in taking part in 8 Oomph! sessions and was looking forward to receiving his t-shirt! Mark has a spine injury and since regularly taking part in Oomph!, he feels day to day tasks are beginning to feel easier.

Cherry Tree Court now have 2 Oomph! sessions taking place every week. The residents who attend have a mixture of different abilities and are really dedicated to attending. The sessions involve armchair movements, sporting games and line dancing. The instructors, Michael and Caroline enjoy delivering Oomph! sessions and are thrilled with everyone’s determination. I sat down with Caroline to see what she thought.

“What do your residents enjoy most about your Oomph! sessions?”

Caroline: “The music creates a great atmosphere and the group are very friendly and welcoming to each other. I think the residents enjoy the hummer (banter) they have with us and each other, as well as getting active.”

“How have your residents improved since you began the exercise sessions?”

Caroline: “Some of the people who attend Oomph! have started to do their own activities outside of the sessions and have recently completed a walk for Alzheimer’s Society. Residents are surprised by how active they can be! One of the ladies who attends Oomph! has arthritis and says the day after Oomph! her pain is reduced and if she misses a session, the pain is worse.”

Socially, it’s great to see people who come to Oomph! socialising with people who don’t often come down to the living area. Oomph! helps people to branch into other social activities taking place in Cherry Tree. Socialising at Oomph! has inspired people to sign up to a befriending scheme.”


To find out more about Oomph!, get in touch at, or to find out more about Together Housing please click here 

Exciting research project to investigate Oomph! effect

By | Community

Introducing… Shiva Shangari Manoharan

We are excited to be match funding a PhD studentship with Bournemouth University. This will investigate the physical and psychological effects of Oomph! in older adults. More details are coming soon, but in the meantime, let us tell you a bit more about Shiva, the student who has been chosen to carry out the research…

A registered nurse striving to enhance healthcare one step at a time. She was born in Singapore and later graduated from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Nursing. After graduating, she pursued her nursing career in Singapore and UK. In line with her great passion for the profession, she has great interest in research and believes that research drives change in our environment. To further her knowledge in research, she studied in King’s College London where she graduated with a Master of Science in Implementation and Improvement Science.

She is currently embarking on an exciting PhD studentship that is match funded by Bournemouth University and Oomph!. This PhD aims to investigate the physical and psychological effects of the Oomph! intervention in older adults living in care homes in the UK. This is a crucial project as studies show that a large number of older adults living in care homes lead a sedentary lifestyle. The Oomph! intervention focuses on not only keeping the care home residents physically active but also gives equal importance to their psychosocial health. The ultimate goal of the Oomph! intervention would be that care home residents have a good quality of life. This programme of work represents a new collaboration between Bournemouth University (Professor Jane Murphy), Solent University and ukactive (Dr James Steele), Royal Bournemouth Hospital (Dr Divya Tiwari), and Oomph! (Ms. Parita Doshi).

“As a registered nurse with Masters in Implementation and Improvement Science, I am eager to develop my research knowledge and skills at a Doctoral level. The exciting aspect of this would be meeting and working with older people in the community.”

Belong partners with Oomph! to adopt ‘whole team’ approach to wellbeing

By | Community

We have partnered with Belong, a leading UK care organisation, to extend the wellbeing and activities programmes in place across its seven care villages.

The partnership has seen Oomph! roll out its Wellbeing Leadership programme to 50 household leads and Experience Co-ordinators, as well as providing resource packs to promote a more diverse and creative approach to activities.

Belong’s Chief Operating Officer, Stacey McCann, said: “Enabling people to lead the lives they choose is fundamental to our vision and we are always striving towards a more person-centred approach.

“ At Belong, we promise a varied programme of activities and exercise for all our customers and recognised that we needed to get the whole team on board to deliver this, and to ensure our provision is adapted to each person’s choice and ability.  Oomph!’s programme offers a refreshing approach that goes way beyond exercise and has given us the opportunity to enhance the way we involve all our colleagues in creating meaningful experiences for our customers.”

As well as training, the programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Create, which has been designed in partnership with The Lightbox Gallery, who provide specialist art programmes for older adults. The workshop focuses on building skills in three different artistic mediums – painting, collage and sculpture, while further workshops will focus on culture, nature and sport.

Feedback from Belong colleagues has been excellent, with one support worker, Belong Wigan’s Gina Bamber, commenting: “The training sessions were really fun and informative, encouraging us to take a fresh look at the way we think about activity on the households, and to drive best practice as a result.”

Taking a whole-team approach to activities, Oomph!’s training focuses on ensuring every member of Belong has the skills to provide fresh and varied exercise and activities that residents love. Emphasis is also placed on creating person-centred plans that are sustained and recorded, so that providers can demonstrate to the regulator that they are meeting and exceeding activity requirements.

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! is delighted to be working with the Belong team. It is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision. We will work in partnership to drive innovation and participation across the communities and are excited to be adding further fun and engagement to customer activities!”

Partnership with Arthritis Action to improve strength, balance and co-ordination

By | Community

We have teamed up with UK Charity, Arthritis Action, to deliver exercise programmes designed specifically for older adults with arthritis.

For the first time, a collaboration between Oomph! and Arthritis Action has brought together experts in arthritis, with experts in delivering exercise programmes to older adults.

The new programmes have three levels of intensity, and target areas of the body commonly affected by arthritis: the hip, knee and spine. These programmes aim to improve participants’ strength, balance and co-ordination, with a focus on regaining, developing and maintaining physical independence.

Launching this month on various Oomph! platforms, the content will be available on the Oomph! app. Staff in community venues – such as retirement villages, sheltered housing, and day centres – that have been trained by Oomph! to deliver fun and engaging exercise classes, will now be able to view the programmes and use these to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis for class participants.

The programmes follow demand from Oomph! Instructors for strength and balance content, and equally the desire to provide relevant and fresh content that will improve the health of participants whilst still continuing to engage them.

Shantel Irwin, CEO of Arthritis Action, “We are delighted to have partnered with Oomph! to develop an exercise programme for people with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. Our aim is to build people’s strength and confidence to exercise safely, and are pleased to have been able to share our knowledge and expertise on arthritis and MSK conditions.

Oomph!, experts in delivering activity programmes to the elderly, are best placed to deliver this exciting new programme across their networks in the UK. We very much look forward to measuring the impact of this programme on participants and are particularly excited about building people’s strength, confidence and ability to get out of a chair and achieve physical independence.”

Ben Allen, CEO and Founder of Oomph!, “We are excited to be partnering with Arthritis Action to create content specifically focused around strength and balance for those with Arthritis. It is vital that we provide resources that Instructors value and that will have a substantial impact on the physical mobility of participants – the partnership provides the perfect opportunity to do this.”

Wigan gets some Oomph! with new partnership

By | Community

Wigan Council has partnered with us to train staff and residents as part of a Sport England subsidised programme, which aims to get the over 55s from inactive to active within the next two years.

Training has kicked off, with the pioneering partnership enabling 20 sheltered schemes across Wigan to deliver fun, regular exercise sessions for residents and staff whilst also engaging the wider community.

The fun-first training incorporates strength, flexibility and coordination, bringing elements of lesser-known sports including volleyball, weightlifting and boccia. All are adapted from traditional versions of the sports to make them accessible for people with a variety of needs and abilities, whilst retaining gameplay and fun!

One Oomph! course attendee said: “I fully enjoyed the course from start to finish!”

Cllr Cunliffe from Wigan Council said, “It’s easy to think when you hit a certain age that your only interaction with sport is as a spectator but age should never be a barrier to getting involved. We have a rich heritage of being a sporting borough and it is great that we can offer everyone the chance to be active and try something different. Not only does it help to keep people healthier but it is also a great way to break down the potential problems of social isolation by harnessing people’s passion for sport.

“We’re delighted to be working with Oomph! on this new project and we look forward to encouraging people to get involved in activities no matter how old they are.”

Ben Allen, Oomph!’s CEO, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be working with the Wigan Council team. It is a privilege to be a key partner and support their wellbeing initiatives. We are excited to be adding additional fun and engagement to exercise sessions, and look forward to working together over the coming months!”

Oomph! Annual Impact Report 2017/18

By | Care Home, Community, Out and about

We’re delighted to release our brand new Oomph! Impact Report 2017/18. This year, we’ve achieved amazing scale, positively changing the impact of ageing for record numbers of older adults across the UK.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • We have trained over 3,700 staff, and have delivered over 45,400 exercise classes
  • 100% of staff would recommend our training to a colleague
  • We have gone on 1925 trips, taking 8060 residents Out & About

You can read the full report here, for detailed information and some wonderful stories that bring the facts and stats to life.

A big thank you to all of our partners who have contributed to our success this year, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Roll on 2019!

Team Oomph! take on the 3 Peak Challenge

By | Care Home, Community, Out and about

When the alarm went off at 4:30am on Friday 13th, it was safe to say no one in the team was particularly excited at the prospect of doing a 24 mile hike.

Loaded up with water, snacks – and some fabulously moist cakes from Apetito – spirits picked up as over 80 people in the care sector set off on the 3 Peaks Challenge, covering Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent.

It was a rewarding day, with beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside, but most certainly not easy going – there was a downpour of rain on the second peak (scroll down for some particularly damp photos!), treacherous drops, blisters, cramp and broken walking boots (not to mention a lack of phone signal). By lunchtime – over 6 hours in – Team Oomph! was tired, sore and ready to eat our bodyweight in cake provided by the organisers. At the third peak, around 8 hours in, we’d set a nearly impossible pace and could barely speak to each other. Coming in just under 10 hours, we finished with a run to the line and it was all over – we’d never been more deserving of the cold pint and fish and chips devoured at the pub afterwards.

Whilst gruelling, we couldn’t have been walking and climbing for a more worthy cause, and the day provided a great opportunity to meet a wide range of incredible people from the sector, from suppliers to care workers themselves. So far, we’ve raised over £1100 for the Care Workers Charity, but there’s still time to donate here – every pound goes some way in helping care workers in their time of need.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s now talk of Team Oomph! tackling the national 3 Peaks next, so perhaps you should watch this space…

What Matters In Wellbeing – Engagement Vs Outcomes

By | Community

Last week I attended the first International Conference for Social Prescribing at Salford University. Discussions there recognised the fundamental challenge of creating interest and motivation for people to start participating in physical activity and maintaining their participation in the long term. This difficulty is encapsulated in the idea of ‘behaviour change’, which has been a key phrase for many community health and exercise programmes over the past few years, alongside having a clear ‘theory of change’ that articulates the outcomes we expect a programme will create, and how. This is not an easy thing for organisations of any size to achieve.

While potential methods of driving behaviour change were discussed, there seemed to be an overwhelming emphasis on measuring it. This leads me to make a suggestion: we need to stop focusing so much on the outcomes. If people are being physically active and participating in socially inclusive and meaningful activities, there will be wellbeing and clinical benefits. Yes, this will vary from programme to programme and activity to activity but fundamentally, positive things tend to happen. What we haven’t cracked yet is the right design, implementation, promotion and sustainability of these programmes.

The shift needs to be away from the singular and reductionist question of ‘Do physical activity programmes work?’ to a more pragmatic and realist question: ‘What works, for whom, and under what circumstances?’

Initially this sounds like the outcome evaluation of exercise has become even more complex… and it has. Exercise is a complex intervention; it’s difficult to standardise. 11 people participating in the same game of football for 90 minutes will each have a unique experience and outcomes. The right outcome measurement tool for community services may capture a proportion of the true outcomes, but it will miss incredible, unique benefits. Like a person who was reunited with their best friend from 60 years ago during a bowls match. Or another with long-term mental health problems whose participation in an art class catalysed a shift from being in crisis to leading change in mental health care and becoming medication free.

Community health and wellbeing programmes work. It will always depend on individual circumstances, but fundamentally, they work. What we haven’t figured out is how to make them work operationally. The rhetoric behind ‘demonstrating the outcomes’ is often to reach the holy grail of a community health and wellbeing programme: being commissioned and paid for by the public purse. But the reality is that this isn’t being achieved on anywhere near a grand scale – even the largest charities with considerable budget and skills for evaluation struggle to achieve this.

I’m not suggesting we ignore outcomes. I’m proposing that we channel more focus on gaining knowledge to create a system of greater outputs (numbers of people who access and benefit from the activity, product or service). The people taking part in Oomph! sessions around the country are not doing it because they heard in a research study that exercise improves quality of life, and that strength and balance programmes reduce the risk of falls. They are taking part because it is fun. They will have outcomes – physical, mental, social, emotional, economic, personal. But to me the most powerful achievement is that people WANT to take part. They don’t drag themselves to sessions because they’ve been prescribed it as part of a 12-week programme; they turn up early, they have a brilliant time, and they look forward to the next one.

That’s behaviour change. That’s a system change creating a service that operationally works following a theory of change.

The question I ask myself daily is how can we make the services and offerings in the community as appealing as a cold pint and a burger? How do we make them so fun, rewarding and even naughty that people can’t help but take part? No GP practice or hospital was prescribing Pokémon Go, but 5.3 million people in the UK played it, with the average ‘Pokémon Trainer’ walking an extra 2,000 steps every time they played the same. Importantly, people with the lowest levels of activity walked an additional 3,000 more steps a day after playing the game.

We need to shift our focus from measuring outcomes to fostering engagement. By harnessing the same strategies that international conglomerates use to make that cold beer and burger so appealing and addictive, we can make radical behaviour change desirable. The activities that make up our health and wellbeing services will cease to be called health and wellbeing services: it will just be, ‘you’ve got to come and try this!’.


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