Tag Archives: ageing


The Otago exercise programme was developed to help prevent falls in the older adult. It was researched and developed by the Falls Prevention Research Group at the University of Otago Medical School.

The programme reduced the fall rate by 35 percent among program participants (with no gender bias) compared with those who did not take part. ...continue reading

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You may have noticed I haven't posted recently. I have two young children and it has been their summer holidays but all good things come to an end and they have started school and I am itching to get back to work.

However whilst I have been quiet on the blog post front my brain has been churning with new ideas that I want to try out and articles I want to write. The most prominent being a course I want to run. The course would be an hour a week and consist of an exercise class mixed with theory about exercise/healthy eating etc. It would be a 10 week course aimed at beginnners who want to start exercising and healthy eating but aren't sure where to start! If this would interest you let me know, plus any questions you would like answered on the course.  There will be a discount for the first course.

Until I am able to put fingers to keyboard for a blog post here is some research in the news recently which I thought might be of interest.

Article in the Lancet about physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death in the world.  

Age UK Exercise Survey by ICM Research shows 56% of older people say they are doing less than the Government guidelines of the recommended weekly amount of physical exercise and 13% say they are doing none at all. 

Yoga can help stroke patients recover balance

Over 50s open up about size, diet and exercise

Women who exercise moderately may be less likely than their inactive peers to develop breast cancer after menopause

Very elderly and frail can see benefits from exercise after just 3 months

Exercising in midlife protects heart, says research

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

Helen Rothwell runs Whole Life Fitness which is a personal training company which specialises in the over 60s. For more information please visit www.wholelifefitness.co.uk or call 01252313578.


A question has just been asked of me on Twitter:

"How can I get my parents to ignore Homes Under The Hammer on tv screens at gym & focus on working out?"

I tend to view exercise similarly to giving up smoking, it doesn't matter what everyone else wants you to do it's only going to happen if you want to do it.

However the older you get the more the saying "use it or lose it" becomes applicable.  There is  word for it - sarcopenia and it means loss of muscle mass. It starts in our 30s  and as we become older it can make performing the most basic tasks of daily living difficult, and greatly increases the risk of suffering falls and other serious accidents. Whilst there are multiple reasons for sarcopenia lack of exercise is a contributing factor.

Regular exercise, with emphasis on strength training, is essential for preserving and increasing muscle mass. In addition strength training has been found to improve bone density, particularly important for women post-menopause, and lessen the decline of your metabolic rate.

If you are a member of a gym ask an instructor to devise you a programme that includes strength training. The instructors in a gym are there to help you, and if you ask them a question I am sure they would be happy to share their knowledge, but in many gyms you have to ask them first.

For those of you without the benefit of gym membership some simple bodyweight exercises can be done at home. Check out my article Resistence exercises using bodyweight.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.


If you have arthritis in the knee you have probably been told you can't do squats & lunges, which are traditional exercises to strengthen the quadriceps (muscles on front of thigh). Yet having strong quadricep muscles can help with the arthritis as  stronger muscles provide better support to the joint. So what can you do? ...continue reading

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Today is World Health Day!

The topic of World Health Day in 2012 is Ageing and health with the theme "Good health adds life to years". Staying healthy amidst the busy lives we lead these days is becoming a bigger challenge for all of us, whatever our age, however as we age engaging in regular physical exercise will enable us to continue performing everyday tasks with ease. In addition to physical exercise both good food choices and mental wellbeing are important in the quest to remain healthy. ...continue reading

Exercise: We have covered cardiovascular and stretching, now you need to think about resistance work. The benefits of resistance work include the ability to move weight around such as climbing stairs and a decreased risk of fractures. You don't have to join a gym or buy expensive equipment ...continue reading


Walking is an ideal activity, it's free and requires no special equipment. According to the Physical Activity in Later Life survey done in 1999 half of all older adults walk at least a mile at least once a week. However the survey also reported that only 13% of men and 10% of women aged 50+ walk at an intensity suitable to benefit their health at least once a week. ...continue reading

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I had an email asking the following:

"What actually consitutes exercise as far as you are concerned? I feel the amount of movement I do must be sufficient, only thing I do not really do is stretch. I think a lot of my age group need to know does hoovering, weeding, ironing constitute exercise" ...continue reading


Most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need by eating a healthy balanced diet and by getting some sun. However if you are over 65 the NHS recommend you take daily vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is an established risk factor for osteoporosis, falls and fractures.

So what does Vitamin D do?

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.  Without sufficient vitamin D bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Muscles need it to move,  nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.  Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.

Why is it recommmended that the over 65s take a daily vitamin D supplement?

The older you get the more you are less likely to particpiate in outdoor activites and if you are outdoors you are more likely to cover up, therefore limiting sun exposure (sun exposure through a window does not count). Of course sun exposure needs to be approached with caution due to the risk of skin cancer.

If you don't like taking supplements the 5 best food sources of vitamin D are:

  • cod liver oil
  • oily fish
  • margarine
  • beef liver
  • egg yolk

How much vitamin D do I need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Vitamin D is 600 IU (15 mcg) for both male and female between the ages of 51-70.

There are medications which can interfere with the bodies utilisation of vitamin D therefore if you are on medication it may be worth talking to your GP before taking a supplement.

NHS Choices - Vitamin D

If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over-50s This will open a new browser window.