Happy International Day of Older Persons - Saturday 1st October
65 is the new 50! And as our population survives for longer, our retirement expectations increase. We now expect to spend at least 20 years in retirement, and increasingly more people are keeping ‘fit and active’ in their ‘golden years’ to fully enjoy this time. Silver haired (as well as sparsely and bald) fun seekers are to be seen donning wet suits, lycra cycle suits, running shoes, walking boots and a myriad of other sporting outfits, abandoning the knitting needles and window boxes to join their younger counterparts in the search for thrills and adrenaline kicks.
Its true to say that what Viagra does for your ‘love life’, exercise can do for your ‘love of life’ and have you noticed that the people who keep active and engaged really do have more energy and zest for life? Their drug of choice is endorphin, the free natural high released by our bodies during exercise and known to help with pain relief, depression, self confidence and a host of other health issues. Best of all exercise helps us to look younger and stay fitter. Keep fit classes are no longer the exclusive domain of the young. Take a look around any Pilates class in the country and you’ll see that often the older ‘regulars’ are able to do as much if not more than their younger class companions, and as we get older and have more time to spend on ourselves, choosing an enjoyable way of keeping active is not only vital to keeping us moving and healthy, but also can inject us with much needed vigour and ‘love of life’.
The government guidelines currently recommend that over 60’s spend at least 150 minutes a week doing moderate aerobic activity and strength exercises on two of these days. A wide girth of daily activities can be included into these exercise categories such as walking, cycling, dancing, lifting groceries and digging in the garden. However, very often flexibility is a forgotten in Government Recommendations, and this is a much neglected area of fitness which is particularly relevant as we age. Ailments such as Osteoarthritis can seriously reduce joint movement, and it is really important to keep the surrounding joint muscles strong and flexible. Daily stretching can help to reduce muscle injuries
Government Guidelines, Healthy diet recommendations and medical advice can send us reeling with information overload! But basically doing something that is enjoyable and reasonably energetic every day and following an ‘everything in moderation’ diet guide will help to ensure our later years are both enjoyable and healthy.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get out there and embrace life! And if you’re stuck for ideas of what to do, take a look at your nearest 1610 timetable and you’re sure to find a class to suit.