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As we continue to navigate our way through the colder season it is natural for many of us to want to stay indoors, warm and often with a cup of our favourite hot drink, a good book in hand or perhaps watching a favourite television programme. Like bears we too often want to hibernate, to sleep and re appear when the first spring flowers begin to poke their way through the thawing ground. We can become creatures of habit, secure in our daily indoor routines, missing the outdoors and forgetting that our bodies still need to move, to stretch, to walk, to maintain what we have physically and mentally.

Staying fit and active does not mean that we must go and climb a mountain, run 10k everyday or swim 25 lengths of an Olympic size swimming pool! It can be something very small each day or something scheduled each week.

Studies have shown that staying fit as we get older has many positive benefits and can really help to combat some of the important health issues that many of us face as we move through our later years.

Here are some of the key benefits:

Independent living

Whilst many of us are happy to move into supported accommodation later in life, others will wish to remain in our own homes. Continuing to stay fit and find the right exercise plan each week will help support and maintain your desired living choices.

Prevents falls

Exercise can help reduce the risk of falls by improving balance, building muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination. As we get older our bones become weaker and are more susceptible to breaks. Studies have shown that undertaking resistance training can maintain your bone strength.

Creates social connections, combats social isolation

We don’t have to exercise alone, when we exercise in a group or with a friend or family member, we continue to be socially engaged and connected to the outside world. In a group we make new friends, this in turn contributes to improved health overall.

Maintains good cardio vascular health

Studies have shown that taking regular exercise can help with the prevention of poor cardiovascular health which can lead to strokes and other serious medical conditions.

Improves mental health and boost your confidence

It’s normal to lose our confidence as we get older for a variety of reasons ranging from illness and disability to social isolation. These can lead to added mental health complaints such as anxiety and depression. It’s been proven that when we exercise our bodies release hormones called endorphins, making us feel happier. As we take regular exercise, we create a positive connection between the mind and body, we improve our confidence by knowing and realising that “we can”, no matter how big or small our goals are.

Sleep, sleep, sleep!

Participating in regular exercise improves sleep by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. A good night sleep can also help you feel motivated to do a little bit of exercise, giving you more energy to get up and go!

Maintaining a healthy weight

Whatever exercise you choose to take part in, you will burn calories, which will contribute to weight loss and help you to maintain a healthy weight. It can also lead to making healthier diet choices and promote good lifestyle habits overall.

The benefits to continuing to take part in regular exercise are endless and new benefits are being discovered all the time by scientists. Most importantly though, when we choose the right exercise for us it is fun and doesn’t feel like a big mountain to climb (no pun intended!). When we enjoy it, we don’t see it as exercise and achieve the goals that we set for ourselves personally.

Some suggestions to help staying active:

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Participate in an exercise class (active balance, seated exercise, resistance training)
  3. Go for a swim
  4.  Walking sports (www.ageuk.org.uk/gloucestershire/activities-and-events/walking-sport )
  5. Physio exercise (if you have been prescribed them)
  6. At home online exercise classes

The Bespoke Life can help

The Bespoke Life can help you maintain an active lifestyle. Whether it is going out for a walk, attending an exercise class, or doing your physiotherapy exercises at home, we are happy to assist you. Our companions can find out about local classes and take part with you if you are feeling anxious about attending something new. We can liaise with medical professionals to ensure you are getting the best out of prescribed exercise plans or research a suitable place to get outdoors and enjoy the seasons while accompanying you.

As the saying goes “If you don’t move it, you lose it”. So, if you would like our assistance, you only have to ask!