The last of the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ series is to ‘Keep Active’. When growing older people appreciate that the benefits of a suitable exercise regime, outweigh the costs. Research has shown that those who regularly exercise have in the fullness of time enjoyed greater independence during later years.
Over the age of 65, wellbeing is likely dependant on making the most of things. If you are spending more than 10 hours a day stationary, health professionals advise filling more time doing an activity which at least involves some sort of movement. Even if you have mobility issues, gentle exercise will do the trick but particularly if it is done regularly. Studies have shown that the following problems are better managed when one is more inclined to keep active.
- Having a fall: Possessing the strength to be up and about depends on having a strong bone density. Exercising certain muscle areas could mean fewer accidents and for some of us, a much greater scope to do the things we enjoy. Further down the road, you will be 40% less likely of needing a hip operation. Similarly, Osteoporosis can be avoided by staying healthy in this way.
- Heart disease and Obesity: Amongst other types of exercise, fast walking and household chores are a few of the activities which prevent heart disease and obesity. From time to time, a rise in the heart rate and an increased blood flow from some sort of cardiovascular exercise, could stave off heart problems from developing in later years.
- Mental health: Out of 1,600 people, of those who didn’t exercise, studies showed they were more likely to develop dementia compared to those who exercised the most. In comparison, those who were more active, figures indicate that they had lower rates of depression and anxiety.
- Early Death: Even through doing gentle exercise like walking and swimming, it is possible to add on 5 years to your life.
- High Cholesterol: To prevent diabetes or a stroke, monitor your cholesterol levels so that they are not excessively high. Activity and a balanced diet will help you stay within healthy limits.
- Lack of confidence and independence: Getting out and about is a good way to boost confidence and combat loneliness. Some say, the more you know what you can do, the more you will want to do. With higher expectations, people have discovered they can live independently for much longer.
However, it is understood that from a certain age, activities that were once straight forward tend to be more burdensome and possibly for some people they experience pain with less energy to be at their best. Being active is not just about pushing beyond your limits and you must set realistic goals. For some of us, the gym could feel a little too much so find something you are able to do instead and make it part of a routine, even if it is something as light as stretching first thing in the morning. Certainly be gentle with yourself and celebrate achievements. If they seem small at first, you can build on them as time goes on.
Keeping Active with us:
We have picked up two options available to you on the Veranda. Look up on our events page for a vast array of keep-active classes and clubs friendly to later years:
Keep Fit Club
Keep Fit is a great way to stay active and build friendships. The friendly Keep Fit groups run on a Monday, Wednesday and a Thursday and cater for people of all abilities. Everyone usually stay for a coffee and a natter too.
Christina has taught Yoga for many years and runs specialist classes for those in later years. Having taught for 8 years at Lion Walk Activity Centre Christina has moved across with her classes to Age Concern Colchester. The classes are generally booked in 6 week slots and Christina operates a waiting list if classes are full.
The Events Page