KEEPING FIT IN OLDER YEARS

Regular physical activity in later life is important for so many reasons. Countless studies have shown that there are the obvious benefits for physical health, but mental health also benefits as many activities involve socialising.

Why is keeping fit in later life so beneficial?

Here are some of the benefits of physical activity:

  • Helps you to maintain a healthy weight

  • Reduces your risk of falls by strengthening your muscles

  • It is linked to supporting your thinking skills

  • Boosts your mood and energy levels (exercise releases endorphins)

  • Itís social Ė joining a sports team or a class can help you to make friends

  • Exercise classes run by Age UK

    Not all local Age UKs run all these types of classes. This is an example of the different things available across England. If you havenít exercised in a while, donít worry. Our classes and clubs focus on gentle exercise to help you to regain your fitness at your own pace. If youíre used to regular physical activity, exercises can be tailored to be more strenuous.

     

    Dance

    Show off your moves at an Age UK dance class. Relaxed classes cover everything from Latin to ballroom to freestyle to line dancing, and beginners are welcome to attend. Learning to dance will also support your brain and memory functions.

     

    Pilates and yoga

    Pilates is all about slow, controlled movements to help build up your core muscle strength, and yoga concentrates on gentle stretching to boost your flexibility and balance. Most exercises are performed seated or lying down, so you may need to bring along your own mat and towel.

     

    Seated exercise

    Seated exercise classes are some of our most popular. The gentle, chair-based exercises are great for improving your posture and balance, and are suitable for people with reduced mobility.

    Some classes introduce resistance bands and hand weights for muscle strengthening.

     

    Tai Chi

    Tai Chi, which originates from Ancient China, is now practised by older people around the world. It focuses on slow and gentle movement, which supports balance and posture, and is also known for its effects on mental wellbeing, helping you to relax and de-stress.

     

    Walking clubs

    Explore your local area and meet new people at an organised walking group, led by one of our trained walk leaders.

    Groups go at a pace that suits everyone and take on a mixture of flat walks through to more demanding, hillier trails over different distances. Thereís often a chance to stop for a hot drink and a cake along the way!

    Walking football

    Competitive, fast and lots of fun, walking football is currently taking over the UK. Most Age UKs have their own team for anyone who wants to continue playing the beautiful game and improve their general fitness.

     

    Zumba Gold

    Zumba is known as the ultimate dance party, bringing together Latin-inspired moves and music with more traditional aerobic exercises. Zumba Gold classes are set at a level and pace suitable for all ages and abilities, and are so much fun that it wonít even feel like exercise.

    Fulwood and West View Leisure Centres are now run by ĎBetterí and offer a range of leisure facilities and do a specific over 50ís aerobics class (generally attended by over 60ís / 70ísÖ) and is always popular.

    Ambulant Physiotherapy on Plungington Road offer both Yoga and Pilates classes which can be 6 week blocks or pay as you go. Tel 01772 717271

    Just for Ladies gym on Derby road, Fulwood 01772 788743 offers an over 60ís membership.

    Rachel Imms