Research tells us there are lots of benefits to being active as we get older. From benefits to your heart, reducing your risk of falling and improving your mental health, we know that the positive effects of exercise are far reaching. Below we’ve given some examples of how to keep active no matter what you’re doing right now.
If you want to be active but you find exercising hard
This is something we come across a lot. Many people are active in their younger lives but as they get older and become less active. Getting moving again becomes more difficult. Remember that you don’t have to get on your fitness gear and go to the gym to exercise (although you can!). Here are some simple ideas you can do at home…
Stand regularly: if you sit for long periods of the day try to stand up, and walk if you can, once an hour. If you’re not able stand doing some gentle exercises in a chair will still be of benefit.
Stand without help: see if you can stand without help from someone else. If you can already do this, see if you can do it without using your arms.
Exercises in your chair: this sheet by the NHS gives some ideas for some gentle chair exercises: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/somerset/activities-and-events/exercise-sessions
There are lots of local chair based-exercise classes in the area, this link from Age UK gives information on some of them:
If you want to get active but you’re not sure where to start
Working exercise into your routine makes it easier to stick to doing it. This can be by doing an exercise programme at home or going to a local class. This link details some local classes:
If classes aren’t for you, getting moving can be as simple as walking more. This could include parking at the far end of the car park so you need to walk further or using the stairs instead of a lift.
Remember that it is important to do exercises to work on your strength as well as challenging your breathing. In your day to day life you can do things like carrying shopping.
If you have pain or medical conditions, it rarely means that you can’t exercise. However, exercises may need to be modified to suit you. If you have any concerns about exercising, you can talk them through with a healthcare professional. Alternatively, Severn Physiotherapy offer home visits. We can discuss your needs and create an exercise programme tailored to suit you.