March 25th sees the start of National Workouts and Wellbeing week. We all know that staying active is incredibly important for our physical and mental health. But when it comes to staying active in your later years the challenges can be a little more difficult to tackle.
As we advance in years, mobility and flexibility can become lessened and we have to take these issues into consideration when thinking about our bodies and the way we move them.
It’s never too late to move more
You might be thinking, why start now? But even the smallest increase of movement can be of huge benefit. A Swedish study showed that staying active was the number one contributor to longevity of life. Moving more helps elderly people stay independent for longer and the positive effects on mental health have been proven time and time again.
Lowering the Risks
As well as the benefits to physical and mental health, moving your body more can also help reduce the risks of conditions including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Making easy adjustments
If your mobility or range of movement is reduced there are lots of low impact exercises and adjustments you can make to enable movement without causing pain or injury.
If your legs are still in reasonable order, then a gentle walk is always a great starting place. It can be as small as walking round your living room a couple of times a day to venturing around your block and getting some fresh air.
For those who prefer or need seated movement, some gentle arm stretches and movement really help to keep the blood pumping. The NHS website have some simple but effective exercises to try. These include light stretches, arm raises and neck rotations.
Starting something new can often feel daunting, but the benefits of moving more are vast.
At Waltham House we actively encourage all our residents to move more and run a regular programme of exercise that everyone is invited to join in with.