Between 1985 and 2010 the number of people in the UK aged 65 and older increased by almost 20% with more than 21 million people over the age of 50. Not only are people living longer but they are also staying active well into their senior years. George Burns (who lived to be 100) used to say, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!"
Some people are very lucky, and no matter how many bad lifestyle habits they have, they're going to live into old age, but for the rest of us who might be concerned with quality of life as we age, exercise is one of the key components. Some of you may have already noticed, but muscle mass decreases as we age. Starting around age 40, adults lose 3%-5% of muscle mass per decade.
Muscles keep us strong, burn calories, help us maintain our weight and strong muscles are essential for our balance and bone strength. Without muscle strength we can lose our independence and mobility. Balance decreases as we age and as a result, falling is a major problem. The good news is that physical activity can improve balance and reduce the risk of falling.
Bones also tend to decrease in density as we age, and for some people, it can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease of low bone density and can lead to an increased risk of fracture. The bad news is that osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including over 300,000 hip fractures. The good news is that exercise can increase bone density in some older individuals.
There are so many excuses for us to not take up exercise, being too old is one of them but there are so many reasons for you to start or continue with exercise! No matter what your age it’s never too late. Come along on a Friday to take part in my senior fitness class and start seeing the benefits of a fitter stronger body no matter what your age!
My senior fitness class is a relaxed friendly class that is targeted at people aged 50 plus and also those who are recovering from injury or illness but can’t quite manage one of my boot camps in the evenings.
Every session is different and they are for every ability. They are based on circuit training, where you perform strength and cardiovascular exercises at set times so you can work at your own pace and work as hard as you can manage. We have a nice mixture of ages from 50-83 with both male and female participants.
The class is £3.50 a session and are every Friday 11am – 12pm at Markland Hill Tennis Club, Heaton.