Staying active over 60 

As we get older, exercise is incredibly important to our overall health. Active older people talk about how physical activity has enhanced their lives and experts give their advice.

Read more about strength and balance as you get older

Transcript of Staying active over 60

I've been doing it since I retired two and a half year back.

We have a good rapport with people

and it's a social event as well as exercise.

Keeping arthritis away.

I have a daughter-in-law and she says if you don't use it you lose it.

As you get older you're more likely to experience ill health.

Diseases become more common as the body ages.

But there's a huge amount you can do to prevent diseases happening

and also in the early stages to doing something about it

that reduces the impact of disease.

By being physically active, aerobically active,

going out for walks, cycling and doing things like that,

it is proven that it prevents heart attacks, it prevents strokes,

and it's important that we keep people physically active.

I'm diabetic and the doctor suggested I did some more exercise.

I had high blood pressure and it brought that down.

For stiff joints, that's done that.

And the company, we have a lot of fun.

Stepping back.

The single most important thing you can do to stay healthy in old age

is to stay physically active,

and the key to doing that is to build exercise and activity

just into your daily routine through walking,

through climbing stairs if you can, through doing your housework,

but more than that, if you can find

some form of physical activity, exercise or sport that you really enjoy,

like walking or cycling or swimming, that's great.

I do exercise in water once a week, every week in the swimming baths

with a young lady who throws an hour's exercise at us and we don't stop.

We asked the local community what they want.

They wanted to do something a bit different.

Things like horse riding, skiing, cycling, rock climbing,

they all came up.

You can dance, even just moving to music in a class does so much for you.

It stimulates your mental circuits in your brain.

It can slow the decline of dementia, even. Even better than drugs.

Sometimes you get up and think, "Keep fit, no,"

then you go up and it's good and it's to music

so once you get going it's really good.

You do feel fit after it. It gives you stamina.

You can't sit around the house.

If you want anything you've got to go for it.

It doesn't come knocking on your door, does it?

I see a lot of results as well. A lot.

From confidence to social skills

to everything like that, really.


Apparently when you're older the balance goes,

and so we do a lot of that, so it's fun.

(Alison Kay) I try and do balance and resistance training,

so this is what helps with prevention of falls and prevention of fractures.

It gives them more bone strength, muscular strength,

which copes with everyday activities, really.

Just in simple things like climbing stairs, getting on and off buses,

getting in and out of a car.

You can get advice, in fact, from your doctor

if you have limitations in what you can do

because it is really so important that you find a way

to maximise your level of physical activity.

I'm sitting on a four-wheel Tramper in Whitton Park

and it gets me about, seeing things I wouldn't see

because I wouldn't be able to walk the distance.

I'm not squeamish. I'll risk going anywhere.

As long as I keep within the boundaries of the park.

One woman said to me last week,

"I've opened a jar of jam today."

We take that for granted, don't we?

She's done it and she's so pleased that coming here has made her a lot stronger.

The more you exercise, even if it's just walking,

you feel better about yourself.

It also takes you outside your house.

When there are just two people living an isolated life,

one can become very introspective.

It's easy in old age to become socially isolated.

About one in five people above the age of 80

don't see a familiar face within a week.

If you're sitting at home you wouldn't think

you could be as active as you are if you just make that little effort.

Four out of five 80-year-olds don't have enough physical strength

to get on and off a bus,

but with exercise, four out of five can.

There's a fitness gap in old age that is the key to independent living.


How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 11 ratings

All ratings

4  ratings
2  ratings
1  ratings
1  ratings
3  ratings

Add your rating

Ergsy logo


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

Health and fitness

Boost your health and fitness with fun and practical ideas to get active and improve your general health