Why you’re never too old to keep fit

PUBLISHED: 14:42 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:42 03 February 2017

Alessandro Rossin

Alessandro Rossin


Want to be running marathons at 70, practice yoga at 80 or be a gymnast at 90? Age is no barrier says Rehabilitation Physiotherapist, Alessandro Rossin

Who says we should accept growing older gracefully? Older people in England are living longer than ever before, says a report from Public Health England. Figures show that for those aged 65, men can expect to live for another 19 years and women a further 21 years.

Professor John Newton, at Public Health England, said the report presented a positive national picture that made achieving a good quality of life in later years even more important. “This report is an opportunity to remind people that, even during mid-life, it is not too late to improve your health,” he added.

Physical activity plays an important role in your health, wellbeing and quality of life. Find an activity you like such as swimming or cycling. Minutes count - increase your activity level 10 minutes at a time. Every little bit helps. Active time can be social time too; look for group activities or classes in your local community, or get your family and friends to be active with you. Walk wherever and whenever you can, regularly.

Your aim should be to take part in at least 21/2 hours of activity of moderate-to vigorous intensity each week. Moderate aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. You should be able to talk, but not sing. Examples of moderate activity include walking quickly or bike riding. Vigorous aerobic activity makes your heart rate increase quite a bit and you won’t be able to say more than a few words without needing to catch your breath. If you have an arthritic knee or hip, cycling is a particularly good exercise. Also try Nordic Walking as pushing down on the hiking pole takes weight off the opposite limb.

It is beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice a week. This will help your posture and balance. Muscle-strengthening activities build up your muscles. With bone-strengthening activities, your muscles push and pull against your bones. This helps make your bones stronger. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include climbing stairs, digging in the garden, lifting weights, push-ups and curl-ups. Examples of bone-strengthening activities include yoga, walking and running.

The health benefits in being active are many, including improving your balance, a reduction in falls, injuries and helping you to stay independent for longer. Activity can help prevent heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and premature death. Every step counts!

If you’re not active now, adding any amount of physical activity can bring some health benefits. Start now and slowly increase - the more you do, the better you’ll feel. Get active and see what you can accomplish! 

Be inspired!

At 91-years-old Johanna Quaas from Germany is the world’s oldest gymnast and regularly takes part in amateur competition. Long-distance runner, 85-year-old Ed Whitlock, took up running again at 41. He is still the only person over 70 to run a marathon in less than three hours. 

Your next step

Always consult a health professional if you are unsure about the types and amounts of physical activity most appropriate for you. At BWT Physio we treat folks of all ages and activity levels. To book an appointment call 01202 749514 or visit bwtphysio.co.uk.

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