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Keeping fit as an older person

Adding regular exercise to your routine is one of the biggest favours you can do for yourself – at any age. But it’s particularly true as you travel further through life.

People who make regular exercise a part of their daily lives are at a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia, according to a whole host of studies.

Getting older can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. That’s not because we’re less busy – far from it! The demands of everyday life, whether that’s career or family, can make it hard to find time to exercise.

The NHS recommends aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. A combination of low-impact cardio and strength training can make a huge difference to your health as you get older. From daily walks to trying out group fitness classes like the ones at David Lloyd Clubs, here are a few tips for keeping fit.

Make exercise a part of your routine

At any age, the key to getting the most out of exercise is being consistent. That doesn’t mean you have to do an intense workout every single day – it just means finding ways to make regular activity a natural part of your life. For example, choosing to walk when you can instead of driving or taking public transport is a simple way to get more movement in.

Prioritising hobbies that get you moving while doing something you enjoy is another way to make exercise feel natural. Gardening, going for bike rides, playing tennis with a friend or practicing yoga are all active hobbies that can improve your physical and mental health.     

Join classes to help you keep fit

Not only can group fitness classes be a fun way to push yourself and try something new but they can also provide a sense of community.

Whether you’ve done group classes before or you’re a beginner, we have options for all fitness levels and ages, and there are always modifications available to ensure you’re working out safely. Consider a few of the following:

  • Zumba: A popular dance-inspired workout that incorporates interval training to help improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • Low-impact cardio: Such as cycling or tennis – there are plenty of options that will get your heart rate up. Learn more about the importance of this type of exercise with our guide to what is cardio.
  • Strength training: It’s common to lose strength and mobility as you age, but you can slow the process by keeping your muscles active. Our BODYPUMP class uses weighted exercises to give you a full body workout and our Total Conditioning classes are designed to improve strength and flexibility.
  • Yoga, Pilates and SPIRIT: Yoga over 50 has many benefits, such as increasing flexibility, calming the mind and developing a strong, stable core. Pilates can help build stability and maintain functional strength.

Do at-home low-impact workouts

 For the days you can’t make it to the gym, there are low impact exercises you can do at home that utilize your bodyweight, items around the house, or basic fitness equipment like light dumbbells or resistance bands.  

The following exercises are great for promoting functional strength and keeping your muscles in good condition as you age:

  • Planks
  • Squats to Chair
  • Lunges
  • Wall push-ups
  • Hip bridges

Do what’s right for you

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to staying active as an older person. If you’ve always been active, it may just be a matter of adapting your routine to fit your evolving needs. If you’re working on adding more movement to your life, start slow and know that every little bit helps. Remember that it’s not a competition and you don’t have to keep up with anyone else – you can go at your own pace and still reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle.

Want to find out more about how David Lloyd Clubs can help you stay fit as an older person? Check out our website to learn more about what we have to offer.  

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