Age is No Barrier to Exercise -make it appropriate, realistic and safe

Anybody, no matter the age, ability or circumstance can and needs to do something to remain active and achieve realistic health /fitness goals in order to stay well for as long as possible. Changes are possible with the appropriate level and type of exercise” Sally Castell

Key factors to consider are that programs are safe and appropriate, relevant and realistic for the individual with the end result being an ongoing life-long involvement in appropriate ‘physical activity’.

Ageing Variables

Age span 50-100+ years; Health state – healthy to frail; Fitness levels – fit & active to sedentary ; Different abilities; Personality types; Cultural backgrounds; Viewpoints, attitudes, perspective, perceptions & outlook; Job roles – past and present; Life experiences & adaptations;  Educational & social backgrounds

  • Being physically active includes everyday movements (e.g. walking) and exercise.
  • Regular physical activity has many benefits for your health, both now and in the future.
  • Simply doing activities you enjoy is a great way to start on the path to better heart health.
  • As little as 10 minutes of physical activity a day can be good for your health.
  • You can increase your physical activity at any age and just about any level of fitness

Building activity into your day

Building physical activity into your everyday life doesn’t have to be difficult. You can set aside a specific time each day or fit some exercises in while waiting for the kettle to boil or watching TV.

There are lots of exercises you can incorporate into your day.

Stand up and sit down – for strength and balance

  • Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and slightly apart.
  • Try to keep your back and shoulders straight.
  • Slowly stand up, trying not to use your hands (or as little as possible).
  • Slowly sit back down and pause.
  • Do this 8 to 15 times.

Shoulder roll – for flexibility

  • Using a gentle circular motion, hunch your shoulders upwards, backwards, downwards and forwards.
  • Do this slowly 5 times.
  • Reverse the direction, and do the same 5 times.

Knee lifts – for strength

  • Sit back in your chair with your back straight.
  • Bend your knee and lift your left leg towards your chest.
  • Hold for a few seconds then lower slowly.
  • Do this 8 to 10 times with each leg.

Heels up toes up – for flexibility

  • While seated, start with feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift heels as high as you can, keeping the balls of your feet on the floor.
  • Slowly lower heels until feet are flat, then lift toes until they point upwards.
  • Repeat these up and down movements for 30 seconds.

Side leg raises – for strength and balance

  • Stand sideways to a kitchen bench or table and hold on with your right hand to support yourself.
  • Slowly take your left leg out to your left side.
  • Keep your back and both legs straight.
  • Hold the position for 1 second then slowly lower.
  • Repeat 8 times at first, increasing to 15.
  • Turn around and hold on with your left hand, and repeat with your right leg.

Half squats – for leg strength

  • Stand facing a kitchen bench or table with your feet about shoulder width apart, feet facing forward and holding on with both hands.
  • Leaning slightly forward, but keeping your back straight, slowly bend both legs, keeping your knees over your feet. Do not go down too far.
  • As you return to the up position, squeeze your buttocks together.
  • Repeat 8 times at first, increasing to 15.

Heel raises – for strength and balance

  • Stand sideways to the bench, feet apart (shoulder width) holding on with your hand for support.
  • Slowly rise up on to your toes, hold for a second and lower again.
  • Do this 8 times to begin with, increasing to 15.
  • Don’t rush your movements.