Exercise for Older People

The newspapers are all full of the new Jane Fonda workout video, due to be released for this Christmas 2010. On her website (the link to which can be found below) Jane Fonda's Easy Going Workout (Formerly titled Prime Time Workout) describes itself as " a compressive 50 minute class designed for all ages" and goes on to be marketed as "perfect for those whose muscles and joints are more vulnerable and who need a slower gentler workout". The Easy Going Workout is also described as "for people who have never exercised, who are overweight, or who may be suffering from back problems, arthritis, or injuries due to overuse" The DVD also includes gentler exercises demonstrated by an older lady called Hazel, and the viewer is invited to "start out following her and then build up to the movements that involve both feet leaving the floor".

Exercise for the older person can be inspiring stuff, but we are all aware that before considering changing our fitness regime - or even before starting one at all - we should have a thorough consultation with our GP to check our fitness level. Some local councils like Wansworth (please see link below) run an Older Active Person Programme, and a great many care homes and PCTs have their own classes and participation schemes to encourage fitness at all levels of mobility.

Another good resource is the Age UK website (the link to which can be found below) which is promoting the "Fit as a Fiddle" nationwide programme, supporting people aged over 50 to engage with physical activity. "Fit as a Fiddle" runs for five years and is funded by the Big Lottery, hosting innovative projects promoting healthy ageing‚ based around the needs and ideas of local people. Programmes are run in partnership with regional and national organisations. "Fit as a Fiddle" also has strong links with different national activity and wellbeing programmes for older people, with which it shares ideas, networks and inspiration, including Age UK's Aging Well programme.

So whether you are about to gear up and commence some chair based exercise, or if you already regularly run a marathon and outstrip those a third of your age, do take a look at these resources and see what you think. We would welcome your feedback!