Exercise is important for all of us to maintain our health, regardless of our age. However, statistic shows that those of us aged over 65 spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting or lying down.
The impact of inactivity
In fact, the NHS suggests that on average adults aged over 65, are inactive for more than ten hours a day. Such inactivity has an impact on our mobility and our health, leading to a greater number of falls, increased rates of obesity and heart disease. As you grow older; it’s all the more important to stay active, to give you the best chance of maintaining your health, quality of life and your independence.
Your exercise target
The NHS advises 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, that’s activity that will raise your heart rate. Though many everyday tasks such as cleaning and shopping are better than simply sitting in a chair, they won’t necessarily raise your heart rate enough to be considered aerobic activity. Also, you want to undertake exercise that increases your strength too, like heavier gardening tasks such as pushing a lawn mower.
Walk to better health
The easiest and most straightforward way to promote good heath is to have a walk each day. If you haven’t taken regular exercise for a while, start gently, walking for a just a few minutes each time. Start and finish your walk slowly, so that you gradually warm up and cool down. Then increase the distance and rate at which you walk overtime, little by little each day. Work a walk into your everyday life as much as is possible and vary your route, so that it doesn’t feel like a chore. Alternatively, arrange to meet a friend for a walk or join a local organised walking group in your area.
Make waves with your exercise
Alternatively, consider swimming or join water aerobics classes at your local swimming pool. Water aerobics is a great way to exercise, as your joints are supported by the water, reducing the impact on them. You’ll find regular water aerobics classes will increase your strength, flexibility and mobility. The mixture of cardio and resistance training inherent in exercising in water means you’ll have a full body workout.
Exercise in your chair
If you haven’t exercised regularly for some time, then the NHS has put together a range of gentle exercises that you can undertake from a solid, stable chair. You can find out more information on the NHS website. However, the exercise routine includes a variety of gentle stretches, bends and rotations to help improve your mobility and strength.
Seek professional medical advice
Before embarking on a new exercise regime, especially if you haven’t exercised for some time, seek the advice of a doctor. If you’ve had joint replacements or a knee operation, it’s all the more important to seek professional advice beforehand. However, embarking on a new exercise regime could be the opportunity to learn a skill you’ve always wanted to or to spend more time doing the things you love, like gardening or dancing.