It's my absolute pleasure to organise our free online exercise groups for older people in Wales, in partnership with the Welsh Government and Dragons Rugby.
Looking after our physical health when we’re older can have a hugely positive affect on our overall sense of wellbeing. It can also reduce our chances of developing long-term health conditions and improve joint stability and balance.
The groups kicked off this week with Chair Yoga, Tai Chi and a general exercise class and they were all fantastic. All in all, more than 60 older people participated and the classes were really friendly and relaxed.
We received really positive feedback from partipants afterwards, with one summing it up perfectly with the following message of thanks:
"These classes have been a real boost this week. Being part of a group is very motivating... The tutors are all so friendly and are obviously very experienced in their field. I feel extremely privileged to have them teaching me and I’m so looking forward to the next seven weeks and beyond."
To maintain a good level of physical health, people over 65 should aim to be moderately active for at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) per week.
You can do this in a variety of ways, but it should be at least in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Moderate activity can include exercise like walking, dancing, gardening, water aerobics or stationary cycling - or one of our online classes.
After you’ve exercised, you should allow at least 48 hours to give yourself time to recover. Remember to take in plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise and go at your own pace. Rest periods between exercises can be anywhere between 1–2 minutes at a time.
If you feel any pain, it's important to stop what you are doing and get it checked out with your GP.
Here are my top 5 gentle but effective exercises you can do in your own time to help maintain your health and fitness levels.
This is a great cardiovascular activity and good for all-round health. If you’re unable to walk for 10 minutes, try a non-weight bearing activity, for example an exercise bike or a light water aerobics session.
You can do this type of activity on a daily basis, which makes it easier to hit the recommended amount of 150 minutes of activity per week.
This is good for ankle flexibility and is an ideal warm-up exercise that can be done seated or in a standing position.
Raise one foot off the floor and rotate your ankle clockwise for 10–15 seconds then swap legs.
Repeat 1–3 times with a rest between each exercise.
If you’re standing up, we recommend holding onto a chair to give you more stability.
This exercise will improve your leg muscles and stabilize the joints on your knees. Having strong leg muscles will help you get from a seated to a standing position more easily.
In a seated position, start with your feet on the floor around shoulder width apart.
Extend one leg forwards in a controlled tempo until it’s off the ground and you feel a stretch in your legs.
Start with 15 repetitions on each leg and repeat between 1–3 times with a rest in between each exercise.
You can try doing both legs at the same time, but make sure you hold on to the chair.
This exercise is great for your core muscles, which really helps to support your back.
Start in a seated position with your hands placed on chair on either side of your legs and your feet together in contact with the floor.
Keeping your legs together, raise both legs slightly off the ground, bent at a 90 degree angle, whilst pushing the palm of your hands into the chair. Try holding this position for 10 -15 seconds.
Repeat 1–3 times, resting in between each exercise.
Working on your biceps is very handy for improve strength in your arms.
In a seated position, start with your arms straight down by your side.
Lift your forearm at a controlled pace until the palm of your hand almost touches your shoulder and do this 15 times on each arm.
Repeat 1–3 times.
You can choose to hold a can of beans in each hand for this exercise for extra resistence.
Remember to take a break between each exercise to allow time for your muscles to recover. It's important that you exercise at your own pace and enjoy the process.
Our free online exercise are for older people in Wales. Groups are sociable and friendly and led by experienced tutors in eight-week blocks.
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