Summer Boost! Live Longer Better, even with long term health conditions
July 20, 2023
"We Are Undefeatable" is a movement supporting people with a range of long-term health conditions, developed by 15 leading health and social care charities and backed by expertise, insight and significant National Lottery funding from Sport England. The campaign’s purpose is to support and encourage finding ways to be active that work for you and your health condition.
Being Undefeatable is understanding that how you feel can change from day-to-day, that everybody’s situation is unique, and that moving more when you can is just as important as accepting when you can’t.
Some facts and figures:
- The prevalence of multiple long term health conditions among those over 65 years old is predicted to be 68% of the population by 2035
- People with long term conditions are twice as likely to be inactive as those without. Over half of those over 65 years old with long term conditions are inactive.
- Over half of older people with long term health conditions can’t walk as far as they could before the Covid 19 pandemic
- 3 in 5 older people with long term conditions would not feel confident using leisure facilities
Being physically active
Half of those aged 65+ with a health condition would like to be more physically active. While this is lower than for younger people (75% of 18-44s) it still represents a high level of interest in increasing activity among this part of the population.
Older people are more likely than younger people to find it difficult to increase their physical activity. This is likely to be due to a combination of factors related to perceived capability, opportunity and motivation.
Evidence shows that regular physical activity can help prevent or manage many common conditions. It also helps keep symptoms under control, prevent additional conditions from developing, and reduce inequalities. The guidelines state that for good physical and mental health, all adults should aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.
WEEK 2: Boost Your Strength!
WAYS TO MOVE AT HOME - FIVE IN FIVE
Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start when you want to be more active. Five in Five is simple - choose 5 activities from the suite of accessible exercises and do each for 1 minute for a 5 minute mini-workout. Easy!
If you feel inspired to try some more movement at home, consider building up your stamin and strength using the NHS Sitting and Strength Exercise which can be found in the activities section of our website here.
WEEK 3: Boost Your Suppleness!
WAYS TO MOVE – FINDING AN ACTIVITY THAT WORKS FOR YOU
You may have grown up loving traditional sport, or you may prefer to get moving by doing a fun activity instead. Happily, there are options out there that may work for you, depending on how you are able to move. Stuck on ideas for new activities to try? Talk to friends, family, and other people with health conditions for ideas and chat about what is working well for them - or even something you might like to try together. There are also some online resources and digital tools.
If you’re looking for a local activity, use Active Cumbria’s Activity Finder
or the useful ‘Activities for Older Adults’ sheets based on where you live.
WEEK 4: Boost Your Stamina!
WAYS TO MOVE – GET MOVING AROUND THE HOME
It doesn’t matter where you are – even at home, there are plenty of great ways that you can get moving. Activities you can do at home vary greatly and include very low-intensity options for moving more.
Reduce any stiffness you might feel by improving your suppleness and engage your brain by learning new skills – Love to Move from British Gymnastics is a great resource which is both age and dementia friendly, and it can be found on our website here.
WEEK 5: Boost Your Skills!
WAYS TO MOVE – DIGITAL TOOLS TO HELP YOU MOVE
There are a range of resources available online that can help you move more. And helpfully, many of these resources are free, so you can use them whenever you’d like. Many videos, such as Active on Demand and written tutorials are available online, allowing you to try new ways to move or get active that are easy to try in the home. You will hopefully have seen over the course of the last few weeks that there are lots of resources available on our website here.
Some tools have been designed to track the activities you already do. For instance, the free Active 10 app tracks brisk walking, which is a great way to add exercise into your routine while enjoying some fresh air.
Sport England reminds us that One in four people in England do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. But research also shows that those who do the least activity stand to benefit the most, even if it’s just small changes to reduce long periods of being sedentary. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.