Stay fit to stay independent
Doing the right type of strengthening exercises is important. For older people, ‘strength and balance exercises’, which strengthen the muscles in the legs and improve balance and co-ordination, have been specifically proven to help people stay strong and steady.
Other activities known to help build and maintain strength are resistance training, ball games, racket sports, dance and Nordic walking. Tai Chi, Yoga and cycling are good for balance as well as bones and muscles.
We all want to continue to enjoy our lives as we get older, such as playing with grandchildren and socialising with friends. Simple strength and balance exercises twice a week are a proven way to keep you stronger for longer, independent and enjoying the great things in life. You can do the exercises yourself at home. Find out more on this page.
You can download Home Exercise programme leaflets here.
Information on COVID-19 support, including activities that you can participate in during the pandemic, can be found on the Adults Information Service COVID-19 page. Local support groups can be found by searching on 'COVID-19'.
Online exercise classes
Keep active with Oaks during lockdown - Judith says go for it!
Simple strength and balance exercises twice a week are proven to keep you stronger for longer and ready to enjoy the great things you like doing when life returns to normal.
Judith, 70, has been doing ‘Keep Active with Oaks’ classes every day during lockdown, since finding them on Facebook.
Judith is waiting for a knee operation, and admits that with the way things are at the moment it’s sometimes hard to get out of bed - but doing the exercises with Lou from Oaks Activities sets her up for each day and puts a smile on her face.
“I use a walking stick at the moment, and can only walk so far, so exercising at home is the perfect solution for me, and Lou manages to cheer me up with her new routines every day.
I have a good laugh and I work hard. I used to go to keep-fit years ago and every class was the same, but with Lou each class is brilliant.
I like the 9.30am class but sometimes it doesn’t suit me to do it then, so I watch it back and do it later. I enjoy watching the other classes too, even if can’t do all the exercises!
If anyone is thinking about taking part but hesitating, my advice is to go at your own pace, listen to your body – and go for it!”
Stronger for Longer classes - NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these classes are not running at the moment
Simple strength and balance exercises twice a week are a proven to keep you stronger for longer, independent and enjoying the great things in life.
As part of the campaign, Vivacity are running exercise classes to help to improve your muscle strength, balance, stamina, flexibility and even boost your mental health.
Sessions run every Thursday between 1:30-2:30pm for £3.50 at The Regional Fitness and Swimming Centre.
Friday between 1:30-2:30pm for £3.50 at The Lindens, Cross Keys Homes, PE1 2SN.
Find out more here.
What to expect from a Stronger for Longer class
If you are interested in attending a class and are wondering what it involves you can watch the Strength and Balance class video at the bottom of this page.
This fun one minute video will help to show what a Level 4 class looks like.
If you wish to complete the home based programme, please follow these safety measures:
- Use a sturdy and stable chair for support.
- If you are feeling quite unsteady, use a fixed object such as a kitchen work surface or dining table.
- Wear supportive shoes and comfortable clothes.
- If any exercise causes pain in your joints or muscles stop, check you are doing it correctly and try it again.
- Feeling your muscles work or a slight muscle soreness the next day is normal.
- If pain persists, seek advice from a physiotherapist.
- It you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness STOP IMMEDIATELY and contract your GP or call 111 if you GP practice is closed.
- Try not to hold your breath – breathe normally throughout.