Exercise and physical activity
Regular physical activity in later life is important for so many reasons – not only will your health improve, but you’ll also meet new people. There’s something to suit everyone at Age UK’s wide range of exercise classes.
Why is keeping fit in later life so beneficial?
Here are just some of the benefits of physical activity:
- Helps you to maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce your risk of falls by strengthening your muscles
- It is linked to supporting your thinking skills
- Boost your mood and energy levels(exercise releases endorphins)
- It’s social – joining a sports team or a class can help you to make friends
If you haven’t exercised in a while, don’t worry. Our classes and clubs focus on gentle exercise to help you to regain your fitness at your own pace. If you’re used to regular physical activity, exercises can be tailored to be more strenuous.
Exercise has given me new life. To get to get your 70s and be able to do this is just amazing. I feel 40. I feel absolutely brilliant.
Exercise classes run by Age UK
Not all local Age UKs run all these types of classes. This is an example of the different things available across England.
Show off your moves at an Age UK dance class. Relaxed classes cover everything from Latin to ballroom to freestyle to line dancing, and beginners are welcome to attend. Learning to dance will also support your brain and memory functions.
Pilates and yoga
Pilates is all about slow, controlled movements to help build up your core muscle strength, and yoga concentrates on gentle stretching to boost your flexibility and balance. Most exercises are performed seated or lying down, so you may need to bring along your own mat and towel.
Seated exercise classes are some of our most popular. The gentle, chair-based exercises are great for improving your posture and balance, and are suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Some classes introduce resistance bands and hand weights for muscle strengthening.
Tai Chi, which originates from Ancient China, is now practised by older people around the world. It focuses on slow and gentle movement, which supports balance and posture, and is also known for its effects on mental wellbeing, helping you to relax and de-stress.
Explore your local area and meet new people at an organised walking group, led by one of our trained walk leaders.
Groups go at a pace that suits everyone and take on a mixture of flat walks through to more demanding, hillier trails over different distances. There’s often a chance to stop for a hot drink and a cake along the way!
Competitive, fast and lots of fun, walking football is currently taking over the UK. Most Age UKs have their own team for anyone who wants to continue playing the beautiful game and improve their general fitness.
Zumba is known as the ultimate dance party, bringing together Latin-inspired moves and music with more traditional aerobic exercises. Zumba Gold classes are set at a level and pace suitable for all ages and abilities, and are so much fun that it won’t even feel like exercise.