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Help for older adults to stay active

Being physically active is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This is why we should all try to move regularly, and include a range of strength and balance and aerobic exercises. This particularly applies to those of us who are older. Strength and balance exercises are specific exercises that will help you to stay strong and steady your feet and aerobic exercise is activity that warms you up and gets you breathing slightly harder, it will help you to stay fit and well.

Being active every day can help to:

  • keep your spirits up
  • get a good night's sleep
  • stay independent
  • stay at a healthy weight
  • reduce risk of falls and fractures
  • keep you steady on your feet
  • keep your bowels regular
  • reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancers
  • prevent many health conditions from worsening

Some physical activity is better than none - even light activity brings some health benefits while more daily physical activity provides greater health and social benefits. Cleaning, dancing, gardening, going up and down stairs and stretching regularly are some ideas of ways to stay active at home!

You should try to do strength and balance exercises 2-3 times each week. You should find ways to build movement into your day, every day and avoid any long periods of inactivity.

For tips on the different activity types and how to build activity into your day see Public Health England - Active at Home guide to being active at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Walking is a great way to get your daily exercise on your own or with members of your household. It is also a fun way of getting to the shops for essential supplies and getting to work or school. 
If you want to take your first steps in improving your health and fitness, or if you just want to stay healthy, running can be cheap, fun and easy to do. See our Walking and running pages for more information.
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to become more active. It is low impact, can relieve stress and improve your mood and self-esteem. Cycling gives you the chance to explore the outdoors, get to know your local area, meet new people and have fun! Click here to see our Cycling pages.

We also have 50 copies of the Keep Fit Association's Movement Made Easy DVD which are great for people who can't get online or join in with a virtual class. The DVD features a gentle warm up with seated and standing options, three separate exercise and dance sections and a cool down providing developments to gradually improve your fitness. They are available to hire free of charge from our libraries by calling the Doorstep delivery service on 03000 263 789.

More information and resources