Health

Keeping active makes you happy in later life

It can be hard to keep yourself motivated if your mobility is declining but there are numerous benefits associated with keeping yourself as active as you can for as long as you can. Use it or lose it is the watchword here so keep active as long as you can. By keeping active, whether with your live in care worker or alone or with friends, we don’t mean you need to be able to run a marathon (although congratulations if you’re still fit and healthy enough to do so). We mean things like walking to the shops, going to the park with your grandchildren or visiting friends for coffee.

Exercise Classes

One way to keep yourself motivated to keep moving is to book on to a specialist seniors exercise class. These are low impact classes that are designed to mobilise your joints and improve your fitness levels, while not putting yourself under excessive strain (and no lycra is necessary!). They come in varying levels of intensity from aerobic classes that will let you work up a sweat to chair based exercise for the less mobile or those recovering from falls.

Blow Away the Cobwebs

Those in later life who allow themselves to become sedentary are at a far higher risk of developing depression and problems with motivation. This, in turn, can make it even harder to get yourself going and you can sink into a vicious downward spiral.

Getting out of the house on a daily basis – even if it’s just to walk the dog or water the dahlias – will give you a chance to get some fresh air and sunlight. Sunlight is responsible for creating vitamin D which not only helps keep your bones strong and healthy but also helps to lift your mood.

Retain independence

Keeping active will allow you to remain independent for longer and studies show that moving into a care home results in a hugely increased risk of depression. Simple things like whether or not you can buy yourself a pint of milk from the local shop or stand for long enough to cook at simple meal could indicate it’s time to investigate homecare services.

Fall Risk

The less mobile you are the more likely you are to fall when you do get up. And not only are falls the single biggest reason people over 65 end up at A&E they are also one of the greatest contributing factors to loss of independence and needing to move into a nursing home, which is a double-whammy in terms of depression risk.

Enjoy your grandchildren

You might still be able to play football with your grandkids in the garden but if you allow yourself to  drift into a sedentary lifestyle you will quickly find yourself on the sidelines. Children are full of energy but find it hard to empathise with their grandparent’s lack of ability. If you want to be able to keep up with them it’s important to keep moving and keep active as much as possible so you don’t find yourself prematurely on the touchline.

About the author

Ross Cameron

Ross Cameron

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