Staying active is one of the most important factors of maintaining your health, energy and independence as you get older. The NHS recommends that those aged 65 and over should take part in daily physical activity, any form is beneficial but the more you do of it the better! It is recommended that you should:
- Aim to be physically active every day
- Do some form of exercise that improves your strength and balance at least twice a week such as joining the local yoga or Pilates class or doing some heavy gardening
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week
- Break up long periods of sitting or lying down with light activity, such as making a cup of tea, cleaning and dusting, making the bed or vacuuming.
But what does the NHS count as moderate aerobic activity?
Anything that raises your heart rate – you can still have a conversation with a friend but maybe not belt out your favourite Tina Turner tune! These can be activities such as:
- Brisk walking
- Water aerobics
- Doubles tennis
- Mowing the lawn
If you would like to improve your physical activity, but find movement challenging, especially if you’ve had a recent fall, are recovering from a hospital stay or have a long-term condition here are some activities that can help:
- Try and stand up at least once an hour or move your legs and arms for a few minutes every so often.
- Aim to stand up on your own without the support of someone else or a walker at least 3 – 5 times a day.
- Try some gentle stretches every day.
This all sounds like a lot of work! Is it really worth it?
Yes! Although this may all sound overwhelming at first, it’s only asking for 30 minutes a day and if you need any more convincing Age UK have put forward some very important arguments:
- Increasing your physical activity levels can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, depression and dementia.
- It can help improve your thinking skills – such as problem-solving, decision-making and remembering facts and words
- It can lessen all your aches and pains, improve your balance and boost your mood!
Post lockdown there are many groups locally such as the health walks, yoga and pilates classes or the local tennis clubs but for now you can follow the links to some of our favourite online activity tips and resources!
- The NHS Fitness Studio https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/ – click through for aerobic, strength and resistance exercises or yoga and pilates.
- The Body Coach Home Workouts for Seniors https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyCLoPd4VxBvH1ZqD6Vp6vD2C2No1cloe
- Age UK – moving with limited mobility https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/exercise/simple-exercises-inactive-adults/
- Harvard Health – Exercise after 70 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercise_after_age_70
Keep an eye on the below for when restrictions ease:
The Goring Gap Health Walks https://www.goringgapwalks.co.uk
Goring Tennis Club https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/GoringTennisClub
Pangbourne Tennis Club https://pangbournetennis.org
Age UK exercise classes for seniors https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/in-your-area/exercise/
Smile with Jo at the Care Hub https://www.facebook.com/Smile-with-Jo-Fitness-and-Confidence-for-the-50-685451835189191
*Although staying active is crucial for your health and wellbeing, we do recommend that you discuss any changes with your GP before increasing your activity levels and do not push yourself to do something you are not comfortable with.