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Exercise - Keep Moving!

happy elders sign Exercise at any age is good for the heart, brain and body (they are one whole after all) and our sense of well being. These days many of us have lifestyles that are predominantly sedentary and we often forget to move. So what can we do about it? Perhaps join a gym (costly) or take up a sport or just go for a walk! If you garden or have an allotment then you are already pretty active but whatever the amount of exercise we get perhaps we would like to do more. Whatever we choose to do it is important to take good care and to respect our bodies, we are not competing – Fred down the road walking 25 miles a week bears no relation to the couple that I walk each day. The focus is on our well being and our joy of being alive.

me with bike I have ridden a bike most of my life since the age of ten and now in my seventies I ride an electric bike and I continue to do most of the work and use the motor to assist on hills.

For most of us changing behaviour can be quite challenging and one great piece of advice it to tag new behaviour onto something that you already do. For instance if you regularly walk to the shops try going the long way ‘round or take the scenic route. Research suggests doing this we are more likely maintain the change we have made.

Most of us now carry smart phones and these will have apps that count our steps and therefore the distance we have walked. So we might begin by checking how much we usually walk in a day, say 2000 steps or around a mile a day. By increasing our steps by 500 a day we will soon be walking two or three miles a day and really building up the strength of our muscles, bones, heart and brain. It’s highly likely that we will see our sense of well being increase. Recent research has proven that these smart phone apps actually do motivate us to keep up this activity.

Even if we not as mobile as we would like any increase in movement, at any age, will improve our overall health. Just walking around our home, doing housework and cooking all counts as exercise and typically adds up to around half a mile a day.

Harvard Health Exercise and ageing

NHS: Physical activity guidelines for older adults

BMC: European Review of Aging and Physical Activity

BBC: Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease

Sustrans: Health benefits of cycling and walking

The Guardian: Cycling keeps your immune system young, study finds

From ZOE on YouTube:
ZOE: The Easy Exercise That's HUGE For Your Brain Health

ZOE: Exercise myths busted: Practical steps to sustain your health

ZOE: Cardio exercise: How much do you really need?

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