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Physical Activity & Leisure

Physical activity and exercise can help you stay healthy, energetic and independent as you get older. 

As you get older, it’s even more important that you remain active if you want to stay healthy and maintain your independence. If you stop moving, all the things you’ve always enjoyed doing and taken for granted start to become that little bit harder.

You may struggle to pursue simple pleasures, such as playing with the grandchildren, walking to the shops, leisure activities and meeting up with friends. You might start to get aches and pains that you never had before, and have less energy to go out.

You may also be more vulnerable to falling. This can all lead to being less able to look after yourself and do the things you enjoy.

Why not visit your local leisure centre or contact your nearest older people's group to see what physical activity opportunities are on offer.

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Physical Activity Guidelines (65+ YEARS)

For the first time the physical activity guidelines published in July 2011, include recommendations for the amount of physical activity older adults should be doing. This population covers a wide range of ages and physical function from the athletic to the frail and immobile.

This set of guidelines applies to adults aged 65 years
and over.

  • Older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including maintenance of good physical and cognitive function. Some physical activity is better than none, and more physical activity provides greater health benefits
  • Older adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week
  • For those who are already regularly active at moderate intensity, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity
  • Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week
  • Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week
  • All older adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.
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Department of Health

To support these guidelines the Department of Health has produced factsheets summarising the guidelines for older adults.

Download Factsheet 5: Older adults (65+ years)

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Active Ageing - Improving Health and Well-being over 60s

Activities in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area

Active Ageing Programme in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area

 

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