Find out why a lack of activity is bad for you whatever your age, and how staying active will help keep you happy and healthy in later life.
The reports we all see daily are clear: as a society we are inactive. Every single year, statistics and studies bring more shocking results about the inactivity of the population. The government recently revealed new statistics that showed:
- Underactivity costs the NHS over £90 million pounds a year
- 58% of women and 68% of men in the UK are obese
- 26% of adults in the UK are considered to be inactive
- Those aged over 75 are most likely to be inactive
Obesity and inactivity is dangerous at any age, but it really does matter as you start to get older. Exercise helps you avoid bone loss, helps to keep you stronger, helps you avoid falls, helps you to stay balanced and coordinated, keeps you happier, keeps your memory strong and it can help you avoid chronic conditions like heart disease and obesity.
Don’t You Become Less Active In Old Age Naturally?
No! This just isn’t true. There are elderly people all the way up to 100 years old if not older, running marathons, body building and even abseiling! Lots of the things we think happen to our bodies because of old age actually happen because we don’t stay active. Being active improves your mind and your body, and could help to keep you independent and avoid the need for assisted living or a move to a residential care home. Staying active as you age will only help to keep you healthy and independent.
Is Exercise In Later Life Safe?
Perhaps you worry you may fall and break a bone, however the right activity only serves to protect you from falling, because it improves your strength and balance. It also strengthens your bones making a break less likely if you do fall. Exercise also helps prevent issues like heart disease and keeps your heart strong.
If you stay active in later life this actually helps you stay protected and reduces many, many physical risks to your body.
How To Become More Active In Later Life
There are so many ways you can become more active, no matter what your age. If you are already in assisted living, have a live-in carer or you are in a residential care home, it is simply a case of speaking to those who care for you about getting help to become more active. There are plenty of options to choose from and the first step is just to reach out for guidance.
If you are still independent, there are even more options for you depending on your current physical fitness. Walking clubs, dancing clubs, sit-down exercise classes, aqua-aerobics – the list is endless. A great starting point is this British Heart Foundation Active For Later Life resource which tells you all about why activity is such a great idea in later life, and how to get yourself started improving your activity levels.