the Southwark Weight and Activity Programme (SWAP) is a 12 week weight management, physical activity and healthy eating programme for inactive women with a BMI of 26 or above.
It is designed to support women to change unhealthy lifestyle behaviours – how much and what physical activity they take part in; food choices; when they eat and how much they eat and other factors, such as the amount of sleep they get.
Women who have a BMI over 26, especially if this is combined with a waist measurement of over 31.5 inches (and a lack of physical activity) are putting their health at risk. This risk is particularly great for women of South Asian, African and Africa-Caribbean descent.
All participants are put into pairs so they can offer each other support throughout the programme and beyond. Each pair is asked to put together a presentation for the group on topics such as ‘Food Labels’ and ‘Exercise on a Budget’. The typical SWAP session consists of an optional weigh-in, followed by presentations and discussion, and a physical activity class or cooking session.
During their time at The Bridge, participants receive a free three-month gym membership and take part in fantastic classes such as Zumba, Pilates and Boxing. They also enjoy ‘cook and eat’ sessions in the kitchen with Chef Tomasz, learning how to make exciting, healthy dishes.
After the 12 weeks participants can continue to receive support by joining the monthly drop-in ‘Booster’ Sessions.
We have written some blog posts about SWAP and diabetes that may help you or give you more information.
I have recently marked my first year as a diabetic, not something to celebrate but certainly something that needs to be a big consideration moving forward in life. Why am I telling you all this? Well I am setting the scene for what I believe is the best advice for anyone who finds themselves in my position.