Getting out and about in the wintery months can often be tricky. Before you know it two days have gone by and you’ve barely left your favourite chair, which is why we are encouraging residents to make exercise in the home a winter priority this year to make sure you stay fit and healthy as the weather gets colder.
Developing and maintaining stamina, strength, flexibility and balance are particularly important as you get older, and can help you carry out everyday tasks more easily, as well as enjoy activities more.
One lady who can vouch for this is 85-year-old Betty Ashton. She joined a keep fit class at Malin Lodge after becoming a resident there almost two years ago and says that she has since noticed a tremendous amount of difference in her fitness, including improved balance.
She said: “It used to be if I was asked to lift my right leg my left arm would come up [laughs]. The exercises are not hard and the feeling you get after the class is fantastic. I personally think it makes you look and feel a lot younger.
“It can be quite hard living on your own sometimes, there’s lots of us that get lonely and we always said we’d love it if more people joined the group. Exercise classes are really enjoyable and a fun way of getting out the house to socialise – I’d do it every day if I could.”
The keep fit classes held at Malin Lodge were made possible by organisers at Active Gold, a scheme which aims to get adults aged 45 and over more active.
Claire Champlin, project officer, said: “A lot of elderly people are frightened of slipping and tripping this time of year, which often results in them staying cooped up indoors for days on end. It’s easy to stiffen up if you’ve been sat down for a long time so it’s important to keep moving.
“The key is to do exercise little and often. Whether it’s getting up to stick the kettle on, walking up and down the stairs once or twice a day or just putting a bit of music on and tapping your feet.
“Lack of exercise also effects a person’s metal health and wellbeing. Joining a keep fit class can be a great way to tackle loneliness and isolation. Even if you don’t join in, just showing your face and socialising can make the world of difference.”
Keep your eyes peeled for Betty starring in a video produced by the Older People’s Partnership Group (Hull), an umbrella partnership of organisations including, Goodwin Trust, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Hull City Council, Age UK and many other organisations, which aims to convey to service providers what older people really want.
For more information about keep fit classes near you, visit www.activehull.co.uk or call 01482 331643.