Salli has been in the fitness industry for nearly 30 years and admits to seeing many of the fitness fads come round for the second or even 3rd time round.
Over her varied and impressive career Salli has been involved with many top fitness companies including ‘ Nike ‘where she was award ‘Nike Premier Fitness Instructor of which there were only 10 awarded in the country. Salli also ran ‘Exercise to Music’ instructor training courses where she trained budding instructors in such topics as anatomy, physiology, lesson planning and safe and effective teaching practices.
It was only due to a change in her personal life that led Salli into cardiac rehabilitation. Bored with working in a gym Salli had an offer to lead a rehabilitation exercise session for those patients suffering from respiratory disorders. ‘’ From the moment I took my very first session I knew this is what I wanted to do’’. Over the next few years Salli trained conscientiously gaining a degree module in COPD. BACR (British association Cardiac Rehabilitation) Phase III and Phase IV Instructor cardiac rehab instructor and a Level 4 qualification in Pulmonary Rehabilitation through the British lung foundation.
Salli worked at SDH for over 8 years initially setting up the exercise sessions for patients on both the Cardiac and the Pulmonary Rehabilitation programmes.
‘Happy Hearts’ was established in March 2010 with just one exercise session a week today Salli has 3 specialists on her team and runs 17 sessions a week with nearly 600 members attending each month.’’ We care, really care about each and every one of our members and we aim to make sure that everyone feels that they are well looked after and listened too’’
‘’Our growth and popularity is largely ,we think, because we try and make each and every session fun Laughter is a great medicine and helps release those happy hormones we all need. If my members leave a session feeling they have a good workout and had a good giggle then we have done a good job’’
Over the years much help and advice has been offered from the wealth of the team knowledge, so much so that Happy Hearts is now affiliated to the British Heart Foundation. In May Happy Hearts was invited to meet Jeremy Hunt and members of the BHF in The Houses of Parliament for our experiences and opinions on aftercare available for cardiac patients after treatment with the NHS.
Capt.(E) Geoff Stokes RFA (Rtd)
I spent 42 years in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service, reaching the rank of Captain(E). At the age of 57 I had heart surgery to have two stents fitted. I also suffer with continued angina. Following the surgery I was retired off and found this very difficult to come to terms with.
At the time I was overweight, some 15 ½ stone, and did little or no exercise. I drank far too much and although ate well, had far too much of the ‘wrong’ food. I worked long hours, travelled extensively and I realise now, became extremely stressed.
Following my surgery I attended the Phase III Cardiac Rehabilitation program, and although initially I thought it wasn’t for me, I soon realised that it was the perfect platform to start the ‘rest of my life’.
As soon as I started to eat more healthily, loose weight and get fitter, the better I felt, although depression and anxiety continued for some time. I had some good days, some bad days. A bit like a roller coaster ride but eventually the good outweigh the bad.
On completion of the Phase III program I was invited to a Phase IV group ‘Happy Hearts’ run by Salli Grant to continue to exercise. Salli ran one class at this time but as number grew so did the classes. They weren’t just exercise classes but a time when people in the same position could talk about their problems. It soon became evident that the emotional effects of heart surgery can cause anxiety and depression not withstanding the side effects of drugs. This in turn can cause problems at home, work, with relationships and socially.
I suffered all the above but exercising and talking to others in the same position got me though it and to where I am today. I needed someone who had been through it, the same as myself, to advise, help and encourage me.
Today I’m a fit, healthy 65 year old that works as Happy Hearts Admin and Support Leader talking and encouraging heart patients to get fit and well. Along with this I also work with the BHF as a Care and Prevention promotion volunteer talking to groups with regard to Heart Health.
My name is Nigel Cherry age 56 & 3/4, I had a 23 year career in the MOD and have been involved in vast amounts of physical training and i was a very keen runner and the thought that i might have some form of a heart problem never occured to me.
On the 26th of April 2008 my world was turned upside down and everything changed.... I suffered a 90% Stenosis of the Right coronary Artery which led to me having a Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) little did i know this was to change my life for the better.
In the aftermath of my Heart Attack i started to attend Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Hospital where I met Salli Grant who runs Happy Hearts Cardiac Rehabilitation which I have been attending to the present day.
Over the years I have been helping out with the new comers to Happy Hearts and talk quite regularly about my experiences and also demonstrate CPR on our Resuscitation mannequins and I am an official speaker for the British Heart Foundation.
Happy Hearts has been a Massive part of my rehabilitation and i would recommend Salli's Classes to anyone who has had or is having Cardiac problems, or just wants to get fit in a fun and vibrant excercise class........you are all welcome.
p.s I haven’t had a cigarette since the 26 April 2008 and I am 2 stone lighter!!!