Older residents across Buckinghamshire are being encouraged to try out new physical activity sessions so they can stay healthier, happier and independent for longer.
Active Bucks, commissioned by the Buckinghamshire County Council’s Public Health team, aims to help people stay healthy and keep their minds sharp with regular exercise.
The current Active Bucks campaign, called Ageing Well Together, is co-ordinated by Leap, the sport and activity partnership for Bucks and Milton Keynes.
And those who take up the challenge will be given the first activity session for free. People can choose from hundreds of activities across the county, including Nordic Walking, swimming, dance, martial arts, badminton, seated exercise and yoga.
Current guidelines recommend that people aged 65 and over should aim to be moderately active for 150 minutes each week; that means an activity which raises your heart rate and makes you breathe faster and feel warmer.
Government recommendations also include two sessions of activity each week which strengthen the major muscles, like digging the garden, Pilates or carrying heavy shopping bags.
Ian 67, a retired graphic designer from Steeple Claydon, tried Nordic Walking last year and has been hooked ever since.
“From the first session in the cold wind and pouring rain, I loved it!,” he said. “I knew it was doing me good. I feel fitter than I have done for years, I have fewer aches and pains and I have lost significant weight without any change to my diet. I am racing up hills and inclines where before I would be puffing and panting. It feels exhilarating to get the heart rate up.”
According to Ian, it’s the social aspect which makes it enjoyable with feeling fitter and healthier an added bonus. However, with only two other men in the group, Ian is keen to get more men involved.
“It was the social thing more than anything; we have grown together as a group of people. We didn’t know each other before and now we all look forward to the session. My wife Val will tell you that I get really annoyed if I have to miss a session of this. So the big message as far as I’m concerned is let’s get more men doing it.”
If you want to take up Ian’s challenge and feel the social and physical benefits of being more active, you can sign up for an activity session today at www.activebucks.co.uk