Less than half of over 55s exercise regularly, says Age UK on free gym open day

Article By: Rachel Baker, News Editor

Less than half of over 55s are doing the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise a week, with one in eight not doing any exercise at all, Age UK revealed today.

However, three in ten would like to take part in more exercise which coincides with Age UK's first free Gym Open Day today, (Tuesday 10th July).

The charity is calling on everyone aged 55 and over to get down to their local gym today to try out gym facilities for free. They say you could join an exercise class, take a dip in the pool or try out the treadmill. Fitness chains taking part include Bannatynes, David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, LA fitness and Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centres.

• Encouragingly, the Age UK researched showed that many older people, (82 per cent) are keen walkers

• Many undertake activities around the home such as gardening (75 per cent)

• Only 8 per cent currently go to the gym regularly with 8 per cent doing aerobic exercise

The research also found that

• Over a quarter (27 per cent) said they wanted to try swimming

• 15 per cent mentioned they would be interested in going to the gym

• 14 per cent are keen to go along to classes such as yoga or Pilates

• 12 per cent of respondents would be interested in aerobic exercise

Emma Spragg, head of wellbeing services at Age UK, said: “Exercise is good for your physical and mental health whatever your age, but it’s especially important as we get older, so it’s great that this research shows that people want to keep more active in later life.

“We hope our Gym Open Day will encourage people to get involved and try something new for free today.

“This is a great opportunity to discover or rediscover how exercise can suit your lifestyle and level of ability, and find out just how rewarding keeping fit can be.

"Anyone over the age of 55 will be able to visit one of the participating gyms today for free to take part in a range of activities or simply pick up some information guides packed with health and wellbeing advice.”

Over 270 gyms across the country will be opening their doors for Age UK’s Gym Open Day today. To find out which gyms you can visit in your local area please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/gymopenday or call 0800 169 6565.

Anyone unable to get to the gym who wants to find out about health and wellbeing activities in their area should contact their local Age UK for more information. For contact details visit www.ageuk.org.uk/about-us/local-partners. To download Age UK’s free Healthy Living guide and to find some helpful tips and exercise advice visit www.ageuk.org.uk.

Photo: Courtesy of Age UK


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