Don’t use your age as an excuse to stop exercising says Sevenoaks fitness instructor
Sam Palmer, the founder of the fitness group SLJ in Sevenoaks, explains why we shouldn’t stop exercising as we get older. She has also set up Platinum Fitness classes specifically designed for men and women who are 65+ years old
WE ALL know that exercise is good when we are in our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, but an alarming number of people decide at some point in their early to mid-60’s that it is time to ‘slow down a bit’ and leave the gym to those in their younger years.
In fact, the National Institute of Ageing says that only one in four people between the age of 65 – 74 do regular exercise.
This can be due to many factors, classes not being suitable for ‘older’ people, lack of transport, shyness or the belief that exercise will cause them injury or harm. But the list of reasons why we should keep active and strong make a good case for getting active:
- Live longer – leading a sedentary lifestyle is a leading cause of death or disease, even walking or swimming can increase lifespan by 3-5 years.
- Prevent falls – anything which increases the strength of muscles and bones will help prevent falling, or reduce the risk of a broken bone if we do fall, potentially by up to 40%.
- Reduce risk of stroke or heart attack – regular activity which increases the heart rate will lead to an increase in cardiovascular health. Swimming, walking or cycling are all great ways to do this.
- Bone density – exercise that is weight bearing, such as walking or jogging, will help to increase and maintain bone density. This is important because a broken hip can lead to a multitude of other problems and is associated with earlier mortality.
- Dementia – research shows that older people who do little or no exercise or movement are at a greater risk of dementia
- Prevent or delay disease – arthritis, diabetes and heart disease can all be helped with regular exercise.
- Improve mood and confidence – in addition to the physical effects of an exercise group or class, meeting other people, getting outside, enjoying music all add to a greater sense of wellbeing. Feeling fitter and stronger can improve confidence and allay the fear of falling, this in turn means we are less likely to become lonely and isolated.
Sevenoaks is surrounded by woodland and pathways, perfect for a gentle stroll when you can enjoy being outside. The town’s swimming pool and leisure centre is well equipped and there are numerous fitness instructors who offer classes of all types from dancing, aerobics and yoga.
SLJ offers three Platinum fitness classes suitable for ladies and gents to join – Pilates, Fitness Walking and a Strength and Balance class. All our classes focus on improving strength and bone density, helping to improve balance and get the heart rate up. Classes range from £6 – £9 and run during the daytime.