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Published on 16 March 2017 09:30 AM

MSPs will today [Thursday] take part in a game of Bingo in Holyrood in a bid to encourage physical exercise among older people.

Age Scotland’s “Body Boosting Bingo” allows older people to take part in evidence-based strength and balance exercises. The resource has been piloted with the charity’s member groups and will be made available to day centres and older people’s groups across the country.

Research shows that we gradually lose strength and power in our muscles and bones as we get older, however this can be reversed. A regular ten minutes twice per week of strength and balance exercises will help to maintain bone density and muscle power.

Evidence also suggests that without regular exercise our muscles will deteriorate gradually from age 35, and we’ll have lost a third of the bone density in our hips by age 80.  

Body Boosting Bingo promotes light to moderate physical activity in a social context, allowing older people to socialise and keep fit at the same time.    

MSPs will today promote the initiative by taking part in a game of bingo with older people and perform a range of exercises, such as squats or standing on one leg.

Keith Robson, Chief Executive of Age Scotland said:

“Age Scotland created Body Boosting Bingo as a fun and practical way to convey public health guidance regarding the preventative benefits of carrying out regular strength and balance exercises.

“Our research has shown that many older peoples’ groups focus on seated activities. Body Boosting Bingo has been developed to counter this and we plan to promote it among our 1,000 member groups and right across Scotland.”

Christine Grahame MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale said:

“I’d like to congratulate Age Scotland on this initiative. It’s not always easy persuading people to take up exercise, but Body Boosting Bingo shows that keeping fit and healthy can be fun and sociable and doesn’t need to involve strenuous activity.

“Strength and Balance exercise is really important for preservation of bone density and muscle power which otherwise decreases rapidly as we age. In many cases both conditions are preventable and reversible. Increased strength and balance can contribute to successful ageing; a healthier, active later life with improved confidence and wellbeing.”

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