A little bit of exercise is better than none at all for the over 65s. That is according to a new study which supports the view that older people would reap the benefits of becoming more active.
The study, by researchers in Cambridge and Amsterdam, found that even people over 65 who were “moderately inactive” had a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those who were completely inactive. The risk fell by 14%. There was a similar reduction in risk between those who described themselves as “moderately active” and “active”.
Low intensity activities like walking, gardening and housework all contribute to an improvement in heart health among older people, even if it is just for a few hours a week.
Don’t delay. Start now
And, as with so many of these things, the perfect time to start is now, today.
That is because the hardest part about beginning any new habit is starting, so the sooner we start, the better our chances of continuing.
And the fact that it is New Year might help to motivate us because it is the time of year when many of us are already reviewing our lives and considering making positive changes.
Here are some tips if you or someone you know would like to get more active to improve your heart health this year:
- The British Heart Foundation recommends a minimum of two and a half hours of activity per week for the over 65s, in 10-minute bursts. As well as helping to prevent heart problems, if you already have a heart condition, it can help you to manage it better. It can also help you to socialise – for example, by joining a walking group – and maintain your independence.
- People over 65 spend as many as 10 hours plus a day sitting or lying down. They are the most sedentary age group. A panel of experts led by Professor Stuart Biddle reviewed the evidence on sitting and found that people should take an active break from it every 30 minutes to decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and problems linked to a slower metabolism. Among the activities that older people could consider are:
- active hobbies such as gardening or DIY
- community group activities such as walking groups or dance groups
- active play with grandchildren
- household chores
- older adults at risk of falls benefit from activities that improve balance and co-ordination, such as yoga, Tai Chi or dancing.
- For many years, Foresight Medical Centre has recommended exercises to our patients, irrespective of their age. For our mature patients though, interspersing long periods of sitting with some light activity is suggested and may include:
- moving around during TV ad breaks
- standing or walking while on the phone
- using the stairs as much as possible
- avoiding long periods in front of the TV
It is most important to have regular medical check-up or health assessment, before and when you embark on a new exercise regime.
Private GP Costs – Health Screening Test
Even though you may feel fit and healthy, there is no denying the fact that age does take its toll on our general health.
At Foresight Medical Centre we offer a Seniors Health Service to take care of your healthcare needs as your requirements change with age.
A typical health assessment, conducted before starting an exercise plan, starts at £538.
It includes a specific Health Screening programme to detect any health issues early, giving you the opportunity to treat them sooner and enhance the chances of recovery.
A visit to our Harley Street centre helps you to take a preventive approach to your health and the health of your family.
Our centre is open from 8:30am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
Telephone: 0207 935 7501