Fitness expert offers exercise tips for people over 60
- Credit: Cadbury House
Exercise for the Over 60s during the pandemic
The World Health Organisation has defined vulnerable groups as people aged over 60 years (regardless of health condition), those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women as an ‘at risk’ group.
The benefits of physical activity for these groups are well-documented. As well as physical benefits, being active promotes emotional wellbeing, and with anxiety levels escalating, this matters more than ever.
Jason Eaton at theclub and spa, Cadbury House provides some top tips for those wanting ideas and inspiration go get moving.
Jason said: “Normally, we would tailor our physical activity advice around community provision, such as swimming, fitness classes and even walking with friends.
“However, these options, as we know, are currently not available and home-based activity could be the best option to take some form of exercise. So, the best thing to do is adapt resources for those who need to stay indoors while observing social distancing rules.
“Many people might feel lonely and may not have a plan to maintain their health so more than ever, physical activity can help reduce the effects of social isolation and prevent deconditioning caused by extended sitting.
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“To do this we’ve got some easy home-based physical activity ideas plus some practical advice to begin a home-based activity programme.”
No equipment? No problem
You don’t need expensive kit and can use everyday household items to stay active.
Jason said: “As we are now having to spend more time at home than we are used to, increasing moving time and reducing sitting time are the key components to physical and emotional wellbeing.
“Typically, we talk about four key components to maintaining physical wellbeing. These are endurance, strength, balance and flexibility and we’ve got some ideas to promote all of these.
“First thing to note is that being active does not need to rely on fancy equipment. Recently, one man completed a marathon on his seven-metre balcony. And we all read about Sir Captain Tom Moore who walked laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS and shows anything is possible even with very little space!
“We recommend making a daily commitment to do some form of activity, even walking around the room will give you some health benefits. If you have stairs, walk up and down them a few times.
“And as we age, we tend to have less strength in our muscles, so it’s recommended repeated movements of between 8-10 repetitions helps counter the reduced efforts of daily living activities such as stair climbing and carrying groceries.
“Doing muscular strengthening activities on at least two days per week also has physical benefits. You can use kitchen items, such as tins of beans or filled water bottles, instead of hand weights. We suggest counting to three during each part of the activity (eg in a bicep curl, to three as you raise your arms, and to three as you lower them again).
“Practical activities to frequently break up sitting time can really improve your mood. Try to stand up every 30 minutes if you are able and move about for two minutes.
“To improve general wellbeing, mood and energy levels, activities that increase breathing rate as well as muscle strength activities are important factors.
“Dancing to music is fun, and if done regularly, is effective in improving quality of life and fitness for people with underlying conditions. Other
“If you have to walk outside, remember to strictly observe the guidelines to stay at least two metres from anyone outside your household.
“A simple activity to improve your balance is walking heel-to-toe across the room. At first, you might find it helpful to hold on to the back of the sofa for stability. Although there is no definitive threshold to achieve benefits, for some people, small changes (eg increasing the number of times you stand from sitting throughout the day) can improve physical function within a few weeks.
“Overall, the key message is, it does not really matter what you do, as long as you do something!”
To help, Jason and his team have created a number of exercise classes that can be found on YouTube. For a HIIT workout with Debi and Scott, log on to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCahfI2YcLUG6CiNAQ3R70TA
The team is also running regular Facebook Live sessions for yoga, LBT and weighted classes, so anyone who wants ideas or motivation can get expert help and guidance by following the Facebook page and looking out for details on the latest sessions.