We all know that it’s crucial to eat well and keep fit, especially as we head towards later life. Not only do we reduce the risk of life-limiting physical ailments, it’s also great for our mental health and keeping a strong mind. That being said, it’s not always easy to head to the gym or train for a marathon, so what can you do to reap the same benefits, without jumping on a treadmill? To inspire your weekly fitness regime, we’ve outlined the five top tips for staying healthy if you're over 65:
It’s not for everyone, but for those who enjoy channelling their inner Monty Don, getting in the garden can help you get the half an hour of physical activity needed to drastically increase your health. A study by horticultural journal HortScience revealed that just thirty minutes of low to moderate gardening benefitted the physical health of all those that took part, the tasks included basic outdoor activities such as pushing a lawnmower, stirring soil, potting plants or pulling weeds — all of which contributed the same level of benefits as a general session at the gym.
Having a dog
We’ve previously discussed the benefits of keeping a dog in later life, but when it comes to getting outdoors and taking a brisk walk in the morning, there’s nothing better than the heading out in the company of mans best friend. All Inspired Villages developments allow dogs in many of the properties and we do so for good reason; a 2017 study showed that those who own a dog, walk an average of 22 minutes more a day than others — all of which counts as exercise. Of course, one thing to remember is to choose your dog wisely, if you have downsized to an apartment, it’s important to not pick a large dog.
Use the internet to stay fit at home
This may seem like an odd suggestion given that browsing the internet often means sitting down and not doing a whole lot of physical activity at all, but we’re not talking about browsing the headlines on your favourite news site here, instead, we’re focussing on the many different tutorial videos available online. Whether it’s Tai Chi, Pilates or something a bit more vigorous, a quick search on YouTube reveals a variety of free instruction videos to help you keep in shape in your own living room.
Play a bit of footie…
… or rugby. No, we’re not suggesting you train with the aim being signed to Man Utd, but getting back into a sport that you may have loved in previous years is more accessible than you may think. Across the UK, more and more clubs are popping up that focus on ‘walking’ versions of our favourite sports, providing the opportunity to get out in the fresh air and play a competitive game with friends, just minus the scrums and tackles. Walking Football was started by Chesterfield FC in 2011 but has since grown nationally and embraced by the FA who now support development of the beautiful game for those aged over 50. To find your local club, head to the Walking Football Association website: https://thewfa.co.uk/
Many of our residents enjoy a good sing and dance, as shown this winter when a power cut disrupted a quiz night. Apart from being great fun, dancing is a great way to keep fit in later life and studies show that beyond the obvious physical benefits, remembering the different steps can aide in a healthy mind and improving memory. There are also a wide variety of dance classes available for seniors across the country, whether it’s country music and line dancing that you dance or want to make things more upbeat with a spot of Zumba — there’s sure to be something for you. Zumba, in particular, run a specific low-intensity class that is aimed at beginners and those in later life who may not be able to jump around the room, find out more here on their site here: https://www.zumba.com/en-US/party/classes/class-zumba-gold
We’re passionate about keeping fit and healthy in later life here at Inspired Villages and all of our developments will have fitness suites with trained professionals on hand to guide you through training or help advice you on the best way to keep in good shape. To learn more, request your free brochure pack today: https://www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/contact/brochure-request
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