The benefits of exercise for the older generation

Age no longer means you have to retire from exercise and gentle sports activities. It’s vital to stay healthy and active for as long as possible. Age has always been an excuse to do less and take it easy, but there’s little benefit to this. Regular exercise, as agreed by health experts, offers a wealth of benefits, including extending your lifespan. Sadly, only a quarter of people aged between 65 and 74 regularly exercise.

In fact, it is now thought that poor coordination, weakness, instability and walking problems are not down to age but to inactivity. Here are some compelling reasons why exercise can offer positive benefits for older people:

  1. Extend your life

Not getting enough exercise and leading a sedentary life is one of ten major causes of disability and death, according to the World Health Organisation. It doesn’t have to be strenuous either, as even walking or swimming can extend your lifespan.

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  1. Avoid falls

By partaking in regular light exercise, you are improving your muscle strength and bone density. This helps to reduce the risk of weakness, imbalance and falling. Amazingly, regular exercise can reduce the risk of falling and suffering a hip fracture by as much as 40%.

  1. Improved bone density

Exercises like walking can strengthen bones which reduces the risk of osteoporosis and resulting fractures. As many as half of women and a fifth of men will break a bone in old age due to osteoporosis.

  1. Reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke

Slightly more energetic exercise is best for improving your heart health, such as housework, a brisk walk or bike riding. Raising the heart rate helps increase blood flow to the heart, boosting general health and well-being. Why not try Walking Netball, a low-impact version of the game? For Netball Training videos, visit

  1. Prevent dementia

Having too much of a sedentary lifestyle in later life can increase the risk of developing dementia. Over a thousand older people were monitored for more than 5 years and studies found that those who did not exercise were more likely to develop dementia.

  1. Avoid or slow down disease progress

Many chronic conditions can be improved significantly with regular exercise. Those with heart disease, arthritis or diabetes benefit most from regular activity. It also helps to reduce cholesterol and improves heart health.

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  1. Greater self-confidence and independence

Older people who enjoy regular light exercise or even more strenuous activity feel more confident in their movements and enjoy more freedom and independence for much longer. It improves balance and reach, and older adults were less scared of falling.

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