UK older people's day: get involved

Posted on: 01 October 2010 by Mark O'haire

Boost your mobility, fitness and mental wellbeing with tips, advice and practical events on UK older people's day.

http://owl-group-staging.s3.amazonaws.com/upload_datas/320/landscape_large.jpg?1288781555Thousands of events are taking place across the country on Friday, 1 October to mark UK Older People’s Day. These include theatre projects, tea dances, fitness and healthy eating classes, information fairs, talent shows and forums on ageing. The emphasis is on staying active in later life, encouraging older people to exercise and keep fit.

David Stalker, Executive Director of the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) said: "Keeping active in later life is vital to every older adult, irrespective of their mobility or their mental wellbeing. We cannot waste this talent and we must not let their inactivity impact the quality of their lives."

Ann Hardy, a 70-year-old sports coach from Southampton, runs a 50+ club three times a week at Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh.  She said: "You've got to keep the body active, it's no good just sitting back.  Our group attracts around 100 people and we do a variety of sports from badminton, tennis, bowls and table tennis to swimming and aerobics. We get men and women of all ages, our oldest member is around 86.  We even have people recovering from hip replacements and heart operations who come and exercise as part of their rehabilitation.  The club gives a new lease of life to our members."

JS-20102222Another keen advocate of the program is Dr John Searle, forced into retirement after being diagnosed with arthritis. However, this prompted him to get qualified as a personal trainer and he begin a career in the health and fitness sector at the age of 63. He is now a practising instructor and manages his condition through exercise.

“Exercise in old age can help protect against the decline in cognitive function, strength, flexibility coordination and balance – in short it allows everyone to enjoy their golden years as we should” commented John.

“All too often older people suffer falls and never fully recover but exercising and keeping active are vital in enabling older people to lead independent lives. It is all about being able to enjoy your life to the full”.

Over 100,000 people were involved last year, taking part in activities which, the organisers say,  delivered real benefits to their communities, or were simply a good fun way to spend an afternoon, meet new friends or try something different.

Find out more about UK Older People’s Day and discover events happening near you.

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