Keeping active into older age is the key to staying fit, mobile, healthy and independent. Being active does not necessary mean getting down to the gym or attending your local keep fit class, although for some this is ideal. Being active can increase well-being and reduce social isolation.
Here are some ideas for keeping active:
Social Clubs – these can include lunch clubs, computer clubs and book clubs. People with a similar interest can get together and spend time on that shared interest. It could be as specific as dominoes or Scrabble, or as wide as tea and cake!
Art and Craft – learning a new skill, or continuing with a craft you already enjoy is a great way to keep active. There are art and craft groups ranging from knitting to drawing or card making. Arts and crafts are a great way to spend time with people or just to enjoy in your own home. The joy of making things is that you can give them to others as presents and keep sakes, which boosts feelings of well-being.
Crosswords and Quizzes – these can be enjoyed as part of a group, or by yourself. It is always beneficial to keep challenging yourself intellectually, and it’s fun to have a bit of a competition with those you know. Challenge yourself to see how many answers can you get without resorting to the dictionary or encyclopaedia!
Singing – there is nothing better than a good sing along. Music can help to motivate you, reduce stress and stimulate memories. There is also the benefit of being able to enjoy music when you are alone, making you feel less lonely. Why not put on the radio or a favourite song and have a sing along in the front room?
Some useful links in relation to keeping active:
And for those who want to get physically active for the first time, the NHS offers a useful guide to getting started for older people: http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Exercises-for-older-people.aspx
If you want to build up slowly, or are anxious about getting active, why not start by involving the help of others.
In Copenhagen, being 97 is no barrier to enjoying cycling with people being pedalled around by volunteers! Find out more here.