Active older people

Staying active is important when you are getting older especially if you have health conditions. Just 30 minutes of regular physical activity a day can improve your health, wellbeing, and make it easier to do daily tasks.

Stay active

Being active as you age can help:

  • improve your ability to do the everyday things you want to do
  • prevent and improve health conditions such as stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes osteoarthritis, some cancers and dementia
  • improve your balance and reduce your risk of falls
  • maintain and improve your strength and fitness
  • improve your sleep
  • reduce feelings of depression, anxiety and improve your mood and wellbeing.

Before you start

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have not been active for a while or if you have concerns about your health. Your healthcare provider may also be able to suggest activities that are right for you.

Be active every day

Doing at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day helps your brain to release chemicals. These can improve your mood and make you feel calmer.

If you cannot do 30 minutes in one go, try doing 2 lots of 15 minutes or 3 lots of 10 minutes. Being active for small amounts of time throughout the day is as effective as doing it in one go.

With moderate intensity activity, your heart rate and breathing rate will increase but you should still be able to have a conversation. Moderate intensity activities include:

  • brisk walking
  • dancing
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • housework
  • playing active games with grandchildren.

Other ways to add activity during your day include:

  • taking the stairs instead of a lift
  • parking further away from the supermarket
  • breaking up sedentary desk activities by standing.

Free videos and resources to help you exercise at home - Live Stronger for Longer (external link)

Weekly activities to try

To improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling, do 3 sessions a week of flexibility and balance activities such as:

  • modified tai chi
  • stretching
  • bowls
  • gardening.

To help keep your muscles and bones strong, do 2 sessions of resistance activities such as carrying shopping or climbing stairs.

Find community strength and balance classes (external link) - Live stronger for longer website

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