It May Not Be Rock Climbing, But Exercise Can Still Be Fun

We all suffer from aches and pains from time to time but we’ve got a few handy tips from independent living expert Sam, at Betterlife, for ensuring we all keep as mobile as possible.

Personalise and enjoy:

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring and you’re more likely to stick to it if you enjoy the activity. Be honest and realistic with yourself – maybe rock climbing or skiing is off limits now, but there are a huge variety of activities you could consider even if you are less mobile, for example Tai Chi, yoga, swimming and water aerobics are all great low impact exercises that get the heart pumping.

Get into a routine:

If you can commit to a regular time and place to exercise, you are more likely to stick to it. This is especially true if you can weave it into your regular routine, for example, getting off the bus a stop or two early to walk slightly further or maybe some quick aerobic exercises while the kettle boils. If you find your motivation is higher in the mornings, consider scheduling a fitness class, a session at the local swimming pool or pulling out the yoga mat at this time.

Warm-up, warm-down:

One of the biggest mistakes I see is people assuming that the warm-up or warm-down is somehow not part of the exercise routine or that it’s optional or even unnecessary. However, warming-up can prevent injury and make a workout more effective, while a warm-down can help you to relax and slow your heart rate. A 10-minute warm-up and cool-down is a small price to pay to help avoid aches, pains and muscle strains.

Know your targets:

The NHS advises that generally fit adults aged sixty-five and above, who have no health conditions that limit mobility, should be active every day. At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or walking, is recommended every week, along with two or more days of strength exercises. Or, for those who are more used to exercise, try 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or tennis, and two or more days of strength exercises.

More information can be found online at:

Refer to the NHS website or your GP for more guidance.


Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.