Being active for older people

Feeling good doesn’t have an age limit. Being active is something that can help us all, regardless of our age. Okay, so you might not be as fit as you used to be, but that shouldn’t stop you being as fit as you can be. There are lots of activities available to suit your needs, whether that’s walking, swimming, bowls or something more active like running or football. It’s up to you what you want to do.

How can being active help me?

Maybe you feel a bit more achy these days or you’re finding it a bit harder to get out and about. Age is something that catches up with all of us in the end… but we should at least make it chase us. Even doing small amounts of activity can help roll the clock back and make you feel younger, more energetic and reduce aches and pains.

Being more active can:

  • Give you more energy
  • Boost your confidence
  • Help you sleep
  • Improve your mood
  • Reduce stress
  • Help you manage/lose weight
  • Fight aging by strengthening bones/muscles and improving balance and coordination
  • Help manage long term conditions like diabetes and COPD
  • Help you have fun with friends
  • Make you feel good about yourself
  • Reduce the risk of serious illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke

What activities can I do?

There is no one size fits all approach to being active. You need to find something that’s right for you, but if you’re concerned about your age we’d suggest avoiding anything too intense or high impact.

Activities like walking, swimming and dance are something that you can enjoy whatever age you are. If you’re looking for something that’s more suited towards an older audience try something like bowls, gardening, yoga or tai chi. Visit our activities page to see if any other activities suit your needs.

If you find it difficult to get out and about you can always try some of our home activities, or these chair-based activities are perfect if you’re not too steady on your feet. Plus you could always start 10-minute activities if you’re a bit nervous at the moment. There’s so much you can do, you just need to try and find something that fits for you.

Is it safe for me?

Everyone is different. Age affects us all in different ways, so you should always try to make sure that you feel comfortable whilst being active. If you take things slowly and don’t push yourself too hard, being more active is usually beneficial. But if you have any health conditions or are worried about being active, speak to your GP before you begin.

How much should I do?

Try starting by aiming to do at least 10 minutes of activity where you can. Once you’ve got started, you should try working towards doing 10 minutes or more on 3 or 4 days a week. Then, when you feel comfortable, work your way up to doing half an hour or more on 5 days each week (or 2 and half hours across a week if you prefer).

A good way to see if you’re doing something at the right level of activity is to try and sing a song whilst you’re doing an activity. If you can talk but find it difficult to sing then this is a good level of activity for you.