My name is Kam, and I set up 1st Step Rehab Fitness and Support to help people feel better through regular exercise.
I got married aged just 20, and 16 years on I am now a mother to two primary school-aged children. My professional journey began during the third year of my four-year degree in sport and exercise science. I spent a placement year in Glenfield Hospital, Leicestershire, working in a cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation unit.
While I loved to exercise to relax and stay healthy, the amazing clinical team at Glenfield showed me the power of exercise in helping those with limiting health conditions. I saw how simple endurance and strength training made people more independent at home. What could be better?
The hospital was also involved in pioneering research, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to assist doctors in their studies into the effects of exercise on heart and lung conditions.
I got involved in everything from muscle biopsies to calibrating equipment. I even got to start my own pilot research study, which led to a full-blown, three-year study after I left.
My NHS career
After graduating, I spent 10 years in the NHS working as a rehabilitation assistant supporting physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, speech and language therapists, doctors and social workers.
Initially, I helped people in their own homes after they were discharged from hospital. The aim was to ensure their safety and to use exercise to rebuild their fitness.
I then progressed onto specific hospital rehab units where I worked with patients before they were discharged.
Following a stint in an early stroke rehab team, I spent the final three years of my NHS career in an A&E department. Working with GPs, fall prevention teams and paramedics, I was able to get people home safely without the need for them to be admitted to hospital.
Starting my business
While the NHS is fantastic at reacting to emergencies, follow-up support is limited. We were limited to a maximum of six weeks, but many people required longer-term help.
I realised that physical exercise, combined with nutrition advice and social interaction, can prevent health problems and future hospital admissions.
This was when the idea for 1st Step Rehab Fitness and Support was born. I qualified as a personal trainer and rapidly gained the further qualifications needed to support people with long-term health issues, injuries and low fitness levels.
Combined with my NHS background, I knew these new qualifications would allow me to help people stay mobile and independent.
I want to make exercise accessible to everyone and offer a variety of services, all based around low-impact and chair-based exercises. I have created a safe, supportive and interactive community where like-minded clients can exercise safely.
I am fully regulated by my governing body (CIMSPA), DBS checked and insured.