Keeping Active in Later Life

Studies through the NHS demonstrate that being physically active on a regular basis is one of the healthiest things people can do, demonstrating that even gentle exercise provides many health benefits and that older people in particular can really benefit by staying physically active in later life.

Many adults aged 65 and over spend on average 10 hours or more of their waking hours sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group. As a result, they can pay a high price for this inactivity, with higher rates of falls, obesity, heart disease and even relatively early death.

For the most part, when older people lose their ability to do things on their own and be independent, it is not just because they have aged, rather it can be a result of relative inactivity. Lack of exercise can also lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalisations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.

Although physical activity is among the healthiest things we can do, older adults can often be reluctant to exercise. Some are concerned that exercise will be too hard or could actually harm them. Others may feel embarrassed, or might think they have to join a gym or have special equipment.

Making exercise and physical activity a regular part of daily life can improve general health and help maintain independence as individuals grow older.

It used to be thought that strenuous exercise was the only way to improve general health. However, new research suggests that just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk or even gardening, provides great health benefits from exercise. The activity doesn’t have to be too vigorous and even low-intensity activity is better than none at all. While some people may enjoy participating in a regularly scheduled exercise class, such as aquarobics or bowls, others may find it easier to just increase their daily activities such as walking to the shops, instead of being in a car, or taking the stairs instead of a lift.

Research now shows that staying reasonably physically active and exercising regularly in these simple ways can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities. In some cases, exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions. In particular, people with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking and regular. Moderate physical activity has been proven to help manage stress, improve mood swings, and including helping reduce feelings of depression.

If individuals are not used to exercising or have not done any for a while, they may worry they are not going to be able to keep it going. However, as we mentioned above, being active doesn’t mean having to exercise intensely. To start with it can be as simple as going for short walks, doing things around the house or even gardening.

At Braeburn Care we make it our priority to support our customers in leading a healthy and active lifestyle of their choice. We support customers with activities around the home ranging from simple exercise programmes, to assisting with the gardening or even cleaning their car. If our customers are looking to go beyond their home and increase the intensity levels we accompany them on walks around their local area, source local exercise groups to connect them with like-minded people or even attend exercise classes with them. The key is to find something that our customers enjoy doing and do it regularly and over time that something can help them feel better and enjoy life more as they age.

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