11 ways to age well


Ian Reddington
Health Behaviour Change Implementation Lead for the North West London Diabetes Transformation programme

Smiling, laughing while the heart is getting a workout - there's no medicine that can do that.

It’s no surprise that activity levels across the UK are declining due to Covid-19. All of us at some point have been asked to stay home or work from home, and stay 2 metres away from people; which as a result means moving less.

Getting active in the way that’s right for you and planning how you’re going to keep going is key. As we get older, it’s not just about the physiological benefits but also psychological benefits.

Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.

– Jackie Joyner-Kersee

The social element of activity is vital for our wellness. So how about killing two birds with one stone by meeting up with friends and getting active at the same time?

As always, make sure that you read up on how to stay safe when exercising.

11 ways to age well

1. The rise of Walking Football in London is a fine example of how many individuals are rekindling an old passion. Find your nearest club here. England even has over 50s, 60s and 70s walking football teams. No running allowed.

2. Make a splash - Swimming is non-weight bearing and therefore easy on the joints. Find a pool you like near you on the fantastic Playfinder website. The Just Swim app/website can help you log your lengths, and tell you how many calories you burn. Who might be interested in joining you?

3.Visit your free park gym, or find a pay as you go or low-cost gym. Many gyms offer classes for all fitness levels. An excellent way to try one out is to see if it offers free gym passes or introductory visits. #FREE

4. If pain or disability limits your activity levels, an Exercise On Referral programme might be an option. These programmes are free and often give you discounted memberships after the programme along with specialised instructors to guide your activity. Click the link above to find your local programme. #FREE

5. Walking and talking is much more fun. Find an organised community health walk in London, or how about you plan a charity walk? Check out the Walking for Health website for walks near you. #FREE

6. Two wheels are better than four and an easy way to stay active while maintaining social distancing. Apps like Strava can tell you which of your friends and family like hopping on their bike. You can even sign up for a charity bike ride as part of your health kick.

7. Play tennis with someone of similar ability and have a friendly match. Learn where your local leagues are, all abilities welcome. The LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) website can also help you find a local court if you want a knock- up with a friend.

Like Ian, make a weekly dose of tennis your favourite medicine. Rain only stops play at Wimbledon.

8. Find a personal trainer with some friends or family. Group PT (Personal Training) is where 2 or more people workout with a personal trainer together. This way makes it more affordable e.g four of you together might work out to around £6 to15 per class.

9. Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates – and breathe. Modern life in London can be stressful, let off some tension with one of these activities. Lots of places offer free taster sessions so have a look online for what’s available near you.

10. Find the A to Z of activities that are on in your local area. From Yoga, to Fencing, to group exercise classes. Some are free and some are Pay As You Go (PAYG). Find something now.

11.Do a virtual class with friends or invite someone over to do an online exercise class with you. The ‘We Are Undefeatable’ YouTube channel has 100s of videos from chair-based activities, to stretching and flexibility workouts.

From these eleven suggestions, which one interests you the most? Share this link with friends and family to see which ones they like the sound of.

Get social, make new friends, meet with old friends and get your heart "beating" and chin-wagging. It's the secret to ageing well.


Ian Reddington

Health Behaviour Change Implementation Lead for the North West London Diabetes Transformation programme

Ian has a special interest in behaviour change, physical activity and weight loss. With over 10 years’ experience in the National Health Service, Public Health, and commercial healthcare settings.

Ian’s main interest is to improve population health using digital channels, along with following his beloved Brentford FC.