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, work from home, and stay 2 metres away from people, which as a result means moving less.

Every part of England is now in one of three Covid-19 alert levels: Tier 1 (medium), Tier 2 (high),  Tier 3 (very high) and Tier 4 (Lockdown). So if you’re looking to get back into physical activity, or even get started, please contact the service provider offering the activity to find out what Covid protocols are in place to keep you safe.

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.

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? (while staying within the local guidelines of course).

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

Exercise safely

11 ways to age well

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

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 tells you how many calories you burn. Who might be interested in joining you? 

3. 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.

4. 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

5. 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

6. Do a virtual class with friends or invite someone in your bubble 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 and strengthening exercises.

7. 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.

8. Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates – and breathe. Let out some tension, modern life in London can be stressful. Ask for a recommendation on social media and ask for a free taster session.

9. 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.

Ian's weekly dose of Tennis is his favourite medicine. Get a friendly knock-up in the weekly calendar, it's great to let off a bit of steam. Rain only stops play at Wimbledon.

10. 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.

11. 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.

From these eleven suggestions, which one interests you most?

Perhaps share this link with friends/family and see which ones they like the sound of.

Get social, make new friends, meet with old friends and get your heart "beating" and your 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.