Playground for the over-60s 

A group of over-60s talk about how using a playground designed especially for them has helped them stay active, social, confident and independent.

Get fit for free

Transcript of Playground for the over-60s

This is good for your waist.

And good for your hips and your legs.

I am loving the fact I'm doing this at my age,

basically because 18 months ago they told me I wouldn't walk

and I had to be in a wheelchair.

Once you've been on here for a while,

you step off it and you walk,

you feel as though you're walking on air.

People often think about retirement or when they get older

as a time to sit down and put their feet up.

Actually it's possibly completely the opposite.

There's lots of opportunity for older people to get physically active,

whether it's swimming or walking or exercise classes.

Even playgrounds in some areas are being developed.

I think the fun element of physical activity shouldn't be ignored.

It's helping us to live a bit longer and be more active and get more out of life

than sitting and having cups of tea in a warm building.

The other thing is we've started a trend.

I think we've had over 800 enquiries from all parts of the world.

It's very important in terms of reducing your risk of falls.

As we age we become more likely to fall

because your muscles tend to lose their strength

and your balance system, the thing that keeps you upright,

can get a bit slack if we don't do specific exercises for it.

If they come out here and they try this,

it gives them the confidence of being able to stand up and get on with it.

"I'm not going to fall."

"And if I'm not going to fall on this, I'm not going to fall any other time."

There are specific exercises you can do

to improve the strength, for example, of your legs,

like standing up from a chair without using your arms,

just rising from the chair and sitting back down again very slowly.

That's improving the strength in your legs.

When you think about your balance,

it's things like being able to stand on one leg and move about,

it's being able to take your weight as it shifts from one leg to another.

These are both important in terms of reducing your risk of falling.

It releases everything, tension and everything.

It's a marvellous exercise.

As you go right down, you don't half feel it, don't you?

You forget your troubles because you've got them here, haven't you?

It helps you rest more.

You can sleep better at night time after a good session on here.

It's like going to the gym, only it's in the open air and you don't have to pay.

That's one of the benefits of this, it's free.

How many people at 80 want to do this?

And they start doing it, they find out it doesn't hurt and it's pleasant

and that will give them the encouragement

and the confidence to try something else.

Some people who fall don't have any obvious physical damage,

but actually become frightened to go out, they become fearful of falling

and this makes them cut back on the sort of things they might enjoy

like going out, going to see friends and so on.

That's exactly what you, in a sense, shouldn't do

because if you're starting to fall, starting to get unsteady on your feet,

what you need to do is get active.

One of the things that people appreciate more than anything as they get older

is their independence.

It benefits the older people, gives them the confidence. "We can do that."

Probably they weren't walking very well, came on here, found this has helped.

"I'll try something else now, do something else."

That's what it's all about.

People have got to get out of their armchairs and get out in the open air.

Well, this is obviously the cycling machine

for the hips, the knees and the ankles.

What you do with this is you pedal 60 seconds forwards,

then reverse for ten seconds.

These machines actually help people getting older

to be more adaptable, and keep them younger.

When we talk to older people they say, "It does make me feel better."

"My pain isn't as bad. I move more freely."

"But actually why I really come, I enjoy myself."

It's the social side that people enjoy.

Physical activity is good for your body

but it also seems to be good for your mental health.

With somebody that side it makes it easy. You forget what you're doing.

That's the beauty of this, you just socialise with people.

When you come off you feel better, you walk better and you have a healthy...

It depends how hard you're working. You have a healthy tiredness.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

In good weather like this it's nice to be out rather than sat in the house.

And you can have a siesta after as well.

You have a good laugh every now and again,

which is the most important thing

because once you stop laughing, you stop playing.

And when you stop laughing and you stop playing, you grow old.

And you're not to grow old.

I'm 35. My feet are 76. And I refuse to be any older.

Ratings

How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 11 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating

Ergsy logo

Ergsy

Informative videos for the over 60s covering health, legal, money, welfare and care matters

The importance of exercise for the elderly

How exercise can help older people stay healthy, energetic and independent well into old age