The Benefits of Exercising When You’re Over 65

For most people, the older we get, the more we seem to slow down. This tends to be the case in every aspect of our lives. However, with the average life expectancy in the UK being 79.9 years for males and 82.9 years for females (ONS), retirement doesn’t have to mean we’re over the hill! We’ve got more time on our hands than ever, so it makes sense to invest some of it into our health!

There’s nothing to be afraid of.

We know that for many older people, the thought of working out in a gym can be extremely daunting. If you’ve never been to the gym before, lack confidence or simply feel like you wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to using the equipment, you could be put off from joining the gym for good.

However, here at PLM, we feel passionate about helping and assisting the older generation in getting involved in exercise and investing in their health. We work hard to make sure all our members feel informed, confident and excited about every one of their gym sessions. Moreover, we want our older members to understand that coming to the gym doesn’t have to mean you spend an hour getting hot and sweaty lifting heavy weights and running on a treadmill. To us, coming to the gym is about doing something kind for yourself both physically and mentally, along with giving you the ability to step back from everyday life and clear your mind.

Physical activity is the #1 contributor to longevity.

A study conducted in Sweden found that physical activity was the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life. By getting your body moving, you can help to ensure you maintain your independence, protect your heart, boost your energy levels, manage symptoms of illness as well as your weight. It’s about adding life to your years! It is also a proven fact that participating regularly in exercise is good for your memory, mood and mind!

We can imagine that you thought retirement would mean you finally can relax and have a quiet and peaceful life. However, we know that children and grandchildren often scupper these plans (you love it really). This means that you want to be as strong as possible both physically and mentally, so you can enjoy and make the most of every second you spend with them.

What do the experts say?

According to the NHS, there is strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia. The NHS has also stated that recent evidence has suggested that regular exercise can reduce the risk of falling in older adults. “As people get older and their bodies decline in function, physical activity helps to slow that decline,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health-promotion consultant. “It’s important they remain active or even increase their activity as they get older.” Most people as they get older want to stay in touch with society – their community, friends and neighbors – and being active can ensure they keep doing that.

Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. It includes anything from walking and gardening to recreational sport. It is recommended that you aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity but ideally, you would be trying to do something every day.

Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities include:

  • Walking fast
  • Riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • Playing doubles tennis
  • Pushing a lawn mower

Daily chores like shopping, cooking or housework do not count towards your 150 minutes because the effort is not hard enough to raise your heart rate, although they do help break up sedentary time.

The NHS has also recommended that in addition to your 150-minutes target, you should try to do some activities that work your muscles.

This can include:

  • Weight training
  • Carrying heavy loads
  • Heavy gardening

To play our part in encouraging and helping older people get active, invest in their health and increase their longevity, we are offering a special senior membership for just £27.50 per month.

So, to sign up for yours, contact us today on 01254 781777.