Falling and hip fractures can be more common for people over the age of 65, but they are not considered an inevitable part of ageing. Physical activity is one of the way to prevent falls. According to NHS, being physically active, both while young and later in life, can help your bones remain strong and powerful and can tone up your muscles.
Exercising regularly strengthens and improves bone condition and it even leads to reducing the risk of hip fractures. According to the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines, older adults should aim at improving or maintaining muscle strength, balance and flexibility on at least two days a week. They should also get active with light exercises when physically possible, or at least with standing, as this has many benefits to their health.
Strength, balance, and flexibility exercises are some of the most effective ones when it comes to bone health. Each week older adults should focus on doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking.
For active older adults (people who already have an active job and/or engage in sports activity), the CMO recommends to undertake a programme of activity that includes resistance activities, impact activities (running, jumping), and balance activity (standing on one leg, backwards walking).
For in transition adults (people with a low level of activity), it is suggested to have a ‘walk and rest for a minute’ strategy and some balance and flexibility exercises such as stairs climbing.
For frailer older adults (people with very low physical function), it is useful to have a programme focused on reducing sedentary behaviour and engaging in regular sit-to-stand exerciser or short walks.
Lucky for you, you can access and try many activities in Leeds that will help to prevent falls! Active Leeds offers you a strength and balance programme for falls prevention which aims to improve strength, balance, and coordination for people with low mobility. You can find a wide range of exercises, from aqua mobility to chair based exercises.
If you’re over 45 years old, Active Aging is also a programme that might interest you. You can find many activities around the leisure centres in Leeds which are specifically designed for older people, or if you’re more of an energetic and outdoor person and fancy a cycling or a boxing session, you can try the activities suggested by Leeds Let’s Get Active.
But don’t stop here – check out Get Set Leeds for more ideas of how to make you bones and muscles stronger, prevent falls and hip fractures, and live a healthier life!