Staying or starting to become more active can be more difficult as your get older, but there are lots of fun ways to stay fit and healthy at any age! An active lifestyle helps boost your emotional wellbeing, as well as reducing your risk of conditions like arthritis and high blood pressure.

There are loads of fun ways for older adults to stay physically active. Leading an active lifestyle will help look and feel younger and reduce your risk of common age-related health conditions. These activities will get your body moving and help you stay fit and healthy at any age!

Hannah Walters shares ten fun activities for older people to keep your body moving and keep fit as you get older:

1. Zumba

Zumba workouts have no age limit and are perfect for enjoyment whilst working out. The fun musical fitness class attracts older adults and roughly 6 million people are taking Zumba classes around the world according to todaysgeriatricmedicine.com. Zumba is a flexible exercise class, meaning people of all ages and fitness levels can participate. Going to Zumba classes can also be a great way for older adults to socialise and meet new people.

2. Yoga

Yoga is a popular exercise for all ages as it is low-intensity and can be adapted to suit all fitness levels and abilities. Regular yoga sessions can improve balance and flexibility, increase mobility, reduce stress, and improve your sense of wellbeing. If you are nervous about going to classes on your own, see if a friend fancies taking up yoga with you.

3. Walking

Walking is one of the easiest and cheapest ways for older people to keep fit and the best bit is you can control the pace - as time goes on you can try increasing your speed or distance you walk. According to experts at Helping Hands: “Not only does stretching your legs help you to burn calories and get the blood pumping around your body, but it also allows you to take in the wonderful outdoors and really get in touch with the natural beauty around you.” Try to get outside and go on a daily walk, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, as connecting with nature has many benefits on your mental wellbeing too.

4. Water aerobics

Water-based exercises are ideal for older people as the buoyancy of water reduces stress on your bones and joints. Water aerobics is a fun, full-body workout that will increase your fitness levels, helps with weight loss, building muscle mass and improves your balance, coordination, and mobility - without putting too much stress on your body. Contact your local fitness centre to see if they offer water aerobic sessions.

5. Housework

Did you know that you can burn over 200 calories an hour doing housework like hoovering, ironing, and gardening? Doing chores around the house can be a great way to keep fit, especially if you're not a lover of the gym.

6. Cycling

Cycling is a popular type of exercise that people of all ages can participate in. Going for a bike ride is a great way to keep in shape and it will also encourage you to get outdoors and enjoy your natural surroundings. There are a wide selection of cycling clubs across the UK that you can join. Becoming a member will encourage you to lead an active lifestyle and it will also help you meet new people and make more friends in your local area.

7. Exercise DVDs

Many people prefer the comfort and convenience of exercising from their own homes. Exercise DVDs are more affordable than a gym membership and you can find workouts to suit all ages and abilities. There is a fantastic selection of exercise videos that you can stream for free on sites like YouTube. You can even find channels dedicated to older adults - check out this 10 Minute Home Workout or Seniors by The Body Coach.

8. Swimming

Swimming is another low-impact exercise that provides a full-body aerobic workout. Regular swimming sessions will help you build endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. It is also less likely to cause injury and can be a great workout when you're recovering from an injury as the water provides buoyancy and removes some of the impact stress off your body. Older people with chronic joint and muscle conditions, like arthritis, can also benefit from water-based fitness activities as it can help with flexibility and supporting a full range of movement, as well as the added benefit of reducing pressure on joints.

9. Walking football

Many sports offer a gentler, low-impact version; for instance, keen footballers can play walking football which is designed for those over the age of 50. The rules of the game are similar to normal football, but there is no running involved. There are many benefits including lower heart rate and blood pressure, better mobility, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. As well as the many health benefits of staying active, walking football provides social benefits; meeting new people, interacting with individuals and being part of a team.

You can also find walking versions of other sports - such as netball and basketball - that will give you a good cardiovascular workout without the fear of overdoing it and putting your health at risk.

10. Golf

Golf is extremely popular with older adults as it provides a good workout and also has a great social element. You can also play by yourself and create a challenge for yourself as you can try to beat your own personal record. 

Playing golf will burn calories, improve your fitness levels, improved muscle strength, better balance and provide you with a great brain workout, as well as releasing endorphins, which can help to boost your mood and mental wellbeing. 

Next steps

Exercise advice for people over 65

Living an active lifestyle is a good idea for all of us, with even small levels of exercise and activity massively contributing to overall physical and mental health.

Starting to exercise: The benefits of low impact exercise

Low impact exercises are a great form of exercise to try when you’re just starting out. If you’re staying at home and can’t get out and about, these exercises are easy to do from the comfort of your home.

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Find out more about ways you can improve your diet, the importance of a balanced diet as we get older and some top tips.

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