18.08.17
Health & wellbeing

National Senior Citizens Day 2017: Active Ageing

Older adults doing yoga outside

National Senior Citizens Day, on August 21st, is a day to support, honour and show appreciation to our seniors (or older adults) and to recognise their achievements. 

The contributions of senior citizen have made our communities better places to live, however, ageist views are still common in our society. Older adults have contributed to society their entire lives, but unfortunately, they often aren't treated with the respect they deserve. Research by Age UK found that 37% of people aged 65 and over have experienced discriminated due to their age. 

Older people have the same passion for life as the younger generation. In fact, according to Age UK, older people seem to enjoy life even more than the rest of us! The charity found that 82% of people over 65 said that in the last two weeks, they felt happy or contented either most days or every day; which was the highest for any age group including 16-24-year olds. 

Additionally, older people aren’t far behind the younger generation when it comes to the amount of activity they get up to. Age UK reported that 43% of men and 34% of women aged over 65 reported doing at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical exercise at least five days per week, compared to 56% of the population average. Popular sports for this age group included swimming, golf, bowls and cycling.  Not bad for ‘old people’ then? 

Movement leads to a longer, more enjoyable later life

The older adults mentioned in the Age UK study had the right idea; regular physical activity, and specifically exercises that focus on balance, coordination, mobility and strength, will dramatically improve their ability to perform everyday tasks such as walking upstairs, getting up from a chair and reaching for objects. 

Falls affect 1 in 3 older adults and have serious consequences. They are the most common cause of emergency hospital treatment for older adults in the UK and account for around 70,000-75,000 of hip fractures every year. The most effective way to prevent falls is through specific physical exercises that focus on developing balance, coordination and strength. If practised regularly, an older adult should notice a difference in their movement capability within a few months. You can find our top three exercises to prevent falls here. 

Embrace old age

There is no reason to fear old age, we should embrace it and make the most of our later lives. 

Older adults can improve their quality of life through many ways, whether it’s socialising with peers, maintaining hobbies, or keeping their mind sharp with mental exercises. However, the most effective way to improve quality of life is to stay active, eat well and socialise. 

Want to learn more about exercises to prevent falls and frailty? Sign up to our mailing list and receive the latest articles on active ageing.