keep fit - activities for older people

Keeping Fit in Winter – Activities for the Elderly


Fitness and activity tips for the elderly to maintain good physical health and keep fit over the colder months.


More than 20 million people in the UK are inactive, and this becomes even more of an issue in winter. As winter draws in, it can be tempting to avoid the outdoors in favour of a warm living room and the many fantastic TV programmes that are scheduled over the colder months.


The problem with hibernating away like this is that your activity levels will drop, which can lead to muscle loss, a fall in heart health, weight gain and heightened stiffness and lack of mobility in the joints. Even worse, when you lose fitness in later life, it can be very hard to get it back so you may cause yourself irreversible damage.


So it is important to stay active in winter to retain year-round fitness and the good news is there are lots of options available.


Take a look at our top 4 winter activities for older adults so that you can maintain good physical health all year round:


  1. Swimming

Swimming is exercise that you can do all year round in the many indoor pools on offer across the country in leisure centres and health clubs. It is a low impact exercise so there is no need to worry about sore joints or pain. Instead you can breaststroke your way to better cardio health, increased endurance, improved blood pressure and circulation. Many pools have special sessions for older people at their quieter times that might be more suitable.


  1. Tennis

If you are already quite fit physically, tennis can be an excellent way to maintain your health and your social life in your later years. Indoor courts are readily available at some clubs and leisure centres. This type of cardio exercise, plus the added benefits of being sociable, are a great boost for both your emotional and physical health.


  1. Exercise Classes

Regardless of your physical health there are exercise classes to cater for everyone’s needs. Pilates and yoga are all great examples of a fun class you can do at any level of physical health. Even better, exercise classes are places you can meet people and make friends so you’re keeping your social life active too. Speak to your GP, your social worker, or friends and family if you need help finding local exercise classes suitable for your needs.


  1. Walking

Walking is totally free and you can do it anywhere, anytime and with anyone. It is fantastic for cardio health, strengthening bones and muscles and generally keeping fit. It is also known to boost your mood too just by being outside in the fresh air. Take a look at the UK Ramblers Association and Walking For Health for more information about walking groups near you.


Stay Active This Winter To Maintain Your Physical Fitness

According to the latest Health Survey for England 78-80% of men aged 65 to 84 are overweight or obese as are 70% of women in the same age group. Being overweight or obese can deter people from exercising and keeping fit yet it is even more important to maintain your physical health if you are overweight. If you are not yet ready to exercise with other people simply going for a walk each day will quickly start to make a difference to your health.

If you are struggling with mobility there are plenty of people who can support you and help you find the right mobility aids. Speak to your GP, friends and family, a social worker or your local council about your mobility needs. The sooner you become more mobile the sooner you will reap the health benefits

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13 Comments. Leave new

  • Not only some good ideas but also a brilliant way for some of our lonelier friends/clients to meet new people and socialise!!

  • We all know we should take more exercise. But it is getting it part of the routine that is the problem – so you dont have an excuse not to do it.

    • That is so true – it can be helpful for all of us to set a particular day and time to get some exercise, even if that is just once a week. Of course, the benefit of a live-in carer is that they can remind, encourage and support their clients to do some regular exercise.

  • Exercise’s impact on our physical and mental health absolutely cannot be underestimated!

  • Great tips for old and young alike!

    • Yes, of course, so many of us need encouragement to stay fit and healthy whatever our age. It’s often just a case of getting into a good habit of exercising at a regular time/day. The social aspects of some forms of exercise can be just the thing we need to get us up and out so are so much better for older people than solitary exercise.

  • Live-in carers often go out for walks during their breaks. They also encourage their client to step outside every day for some fresh air. Especially important this time of year as we tend to stay inside more.

  • Some very relevant advice for young and old. Can live in carers bring the motivation you get from a personal trainer?

    • That’s a very good point and would depend on the individual live-in carer, but simply having someone around who is more likely to go out for a walk can be a huge benefit to older people and could be all the motivation they need. Yet another benefit of having a live-in carer – someone who could actively encourage an elderly person to stay as fit and active as possible.

  • Great tips! Such good ideas.

  • great ideas – walking is always great even if its just 15 mins a day

  • Some great tips on how to stay fit and socialise at the same time!


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