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'.
Daily strength and balance class online
You can join in a live daily strength and balance class online with ‘Keep Active with Oaks’ every weekday. (Please note - this is a Facebook page but you can still use the classes if you dont have Facebook. You can do this by clicking on the "not now" words at the bottom of the pop up that apprears).
Activities to keep you moving at home
You can also visit Living Sport to access a range of other activities to keep you moving at home.
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.
Judith, 70, has been doing ‘Keep Active with Oaks’ classes every day 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 through 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".
"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 Oaks Activities each class is brilliant".
"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!”
The Healthy You Falls Prevention Health Trainer service provide a free, friendly and effective 24 week strength and balance exercise programme. The programme, called FaME (Falls Management Exercise Programme) is proven to significantly improve your strength and balance to keep you independent and doing the things you enjoy.
If you have become more unsteady and/or have fallen in the last year, contact Healthy You on Tel: 0333 005 0093.
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.
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.