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Over-50s exercise

Tuesday 9th December 2014

Exercise has traditionally been regarded as an activity for the young but older adults can reap many benefits from both cardiovascular and resistance training.

Fitness can be improved at any age regardless of whether you are an experienced exerciser or novice. Regular exercise can help stave off the gradual decline associated with ageing, helping us to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

I have specialised in exercise for the over-50s since qualifying as a Heartmoves leader while living in Australia. Heartmoves is a Heart Foundation exercise programme that was developed specifically for older adults and those with health risk factors or chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and stroke.

My experience has enabled me to develop Fit Forever - safe and effective exercise classes that incorporate gentle aerobic activity, weight-bearing or resistance exercise and stretching, all of which help to improve cardiovascular health, build strength and improve balance.

Pilates is also an ideal form of exercise for older people, contributing to improved strength, flexibility and balance. I recently attended a two-day Pilates For the Older Person Course at Body Control Pilates which has enabled me to add dozens of modified exercises to the standard matwork repertoire. These include exercises suitable a wide range of issues such as knee and hip arthritis and replacements, stroke, Parkinsons Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

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