"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Why become even a little more active?
Being active, particularly for older people, has many benefits. Regular activity can help improve your strength and ability to do daily tasks which in turn can help you to live your life in the way you would like to.
- Have fun and enjoy life
- Meet more people and make new friends
- Relax, combat stress and anxiety
- Be able to control their weight
- Have improved movement and balance - leading to a decrease in the chances of falls and accidents
- Helps keep our brains healthy
- Increases strength and bone density - without exercise muscle quickly wastes away
- Increases energy and allows you to be more alert than sedentary people
Health Specific Conditions
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure
- Improve balance, co-ordination and flexibility of joints
- Prevent the start of some types of diabetes
- Improved immune systems
- Better circulation - less swollen ankles (oedema) and cold at extremities
Different Kinds of Exercise
Ideally we should look to improve the following:
StrengthIn order to perform everyday tasks such as walking requires strength. Loss of strength can lead to disability and loss of independence.
You can improve strength in the main functional muscles with simple exercises. For example while washing up strengthen your ankles by rising onto your toes and holding for a count of five, then gently lower yourself and repeat.
Bone DensityA loss of bone makes fractures more likely to occur and the onset of osteoporosis is possible when the bone thins to a certain degree. It is important to maintain bone at three sites - the wrist, hip and spine. These can be done by squeezing a tennis ball 10 times a day, holding each squeeze for 5 seconds, this will increase bone density within 6 months.
StaminaAny exercise which makes you warm and increases your rate of breathing will benefit your cardiovascular system (stamina) this is vital to your heart and arteries. The benefits only occur however, if the activity is maintained on a regular basis, namely three times a week or more. This could include walking.
PowerThis is the ability to use our muscles fast when we need them. For example, to prevent a trip from becoming a fall we must be able to right ourselves quickly. Power can be improved by both strength and endurance work. It is also important to maintain co-ordination and reaction time, perhaps through ball games or dance routines.
BalanceEnsures we stay upright at all times.
FlexibilityThis ensures we can do a range of everyday tasks such as bending to put shoes on. Moving the joints around reduces stiffness so it's a good policy to stretch and rotate all the joints twice a day.
How Much Exercise?
Exercise should be progressive - each time challenging us to do a little bit more than last time, and the exercise should be of a moderate level i.e. it makes us warm and slightly breathless.
It is important not to overexercise and if the activity is something which you are not used to build up your muscle strength gradually before engaging in the activity.
Remember - avoid exercise if you are unwell. But do not immobilise yourself during illness. This can be achieved through gentle everyday tasks around the home until you are fully recovered.
50 + at Torbay Leisure Centre
Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon between 13.30 - 15.30 various activities are available including gentle aerobics, badminton, squash, racquet ball, swimming, table tennis for the 50 plus. For Members the session will cost £2.25 and Non-Members £2.80. For further information please contact the centre on (01803) 522240
Every Thursday (term time only) there is a 50 plus session at the Acorn Leisure Centre for further information please contact the centre on (01803) 328819.
Riviera International Conference Centre
There are a number of activities available at the centre such as swimming and aqua aerobics.
Paignton Community & Sports College
Walking football every Monday from 5.30 til 6.30.
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