Living Longer Better

As we get older, being active is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This is why we should all try to move regularly, including exercises to help stay strong and steady.

This particularly applies to those of us who have health conditions or are older.

There are two key types of activity that help:

Strength and balance exercise: these exercises help you stay strong and steady on your feet

Aerobic exercises: this is activity which warms you up and gets your breathing slightly harder, it will help you stay fit and well.

How often should I be active?

We should all be aiming to be active everyday.

Older adults should aim to do:

  • Strength, balance and flexibility exercises on at least two days a week for example heavy gardening, carry heavy shopping bags, resistance exercise, pilates or yoga

  • 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week for example brisk walking, dancing, cleaning, running or cycling. A good way to test if you are exercising at a moderate intensity is to take the talk test. If you can comfortably talk, but not sing, you’re doing moderate intensity activity

Note: if you aren’t already doing this much activity you should be aiming to build up gradually from your current level

How do I get started?

Don’t worry, the important thing is to start to be more active at a pace which is comfortable to you

Doing some physical activity is better than none.

Even light activity brings benefits compared to doing nothing.

Start small and build up gradually. Doing something is better than nothing. In fact those who are least active stand to make the greatest benefits.

Ideas for being active

There are so many different ways of being active. From walking in your local park, playing with your grandchildren through to joining a walking group, bowls club or taking up a new activity such as golf.

If your are just getting started and would like to try something at home have a look at some of these ideas for older adults

Alternatively to find an activity local to you, take a look at the following links:

Activities in Solihull and Coventry click here

Activities in Warwickshire click here.

I have a Health Condition, can I still be active?

Being active can really help alleviate and manage the symptoms of many long term health conditions.

For inspiring stories and advice on being active with a health condition, visit the We Are Undefeatable website, or check out the #movingstories from across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire here!

One we think you’ll find particularly interesting is the story of Mike and Linda, a married couple in their 80s who are still playing badminton weekly, practising Yoga and Pilates – Mike even runs 5km and 10km races regularly! Check their moving story out here!