Want to know one of the best things about exercise?
There's no expiry date.
Anyone, at any age can exercise, in fact the only limitations to it are the ones we impose on ourselves. Keeping fit and active is important at any age, but especially so as we get older, in order to ensure that we maintain a strong, fit body and have the best possible quality of life.
According to the 2015 British Heart Foundation physical activity statistics, only 30% of over 75's met the recommended physical activity guidelines. People who meet physical activity recommendations are at a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease, something that becomes increasingly important as we get older.
You might be reading this thinking "it's too late for me" or "what's the point?" but you might be surprised to find out just how quickly you can start seeing the benefits of exercise.
There's been a lot of research and studies conducted into just what kinds of physical benefits exercise in older adults can achieve, including improvements in balance, strength, muscle power and endurance. For example a 2013 study showed that resistance training twice a week over 2 months considerably improved mobility and muscle strength in 77–97 year olds with impaired mobility.
Other studies have found that endurance training improves aerobic capacity in older adults, which can help protect against cardiovascular problems and improve quality of life.
The evidence is readily available and no real surprise - of course exercising can help improve your standard of life in people of any age. So why do so many older adults avoid it? For a lot of people it comes down to two main barriers: fear and confidence.
Luckily both of these things can be easily conquered. Find a friend or enlist your partner to partake in your fitness journey with you, invest in a few personal training sessions to help you get started or sign up to some workout classes, where a professional instructor can help you get fit safely - all the while having fun too!