Staying independent

Staying active

"I'd like to know how to keep physically fit and active in my local community."

Why staying active is important

Staying active is a very important part of maintaining your independence and reducing your need for care later on in life. Research has shown we are less active generally in modern day living, mainly due to increasing our use of technology, such as washing machines, cars and computers, so it’s important to consider if you are meeting the weekly recommended levels for exercise and any changes you need to make to be more active.

Being physically active can:

  • reduce the risk of you becoming ill. Read about the health benefits
  • improve your mood and mental wellbeing
  • help you get a good night’s sleep
  • lead to greater involvement in your local community and new friendships.

Health benefits

It’s no secret that being active is good for your health, but more importantly it has been medically proven that for people who do regular physical activity, the risk of:

  • coronary heart disease and stroke is up to 35% lower
  • type 2 diabetes is up to a 50% lower
  • colon cancer is up to 50% lower
  • breast cancer is up to 20% lower
  • osteoarthritis is up to 83% lower
  • hip fracture is up to 68% lower
  • falls is 30% lower (for older adults)
  • depression is up to 30% lower
  • dementia is up to 30% lower
  • early death is 30% lower.

Fitness and disability

You don’t need to have full mobility to experience the health benefits of exercise. If injury, disability, illness, or weight problems have limited your mobility, there are still plenty of ways you can use exercise to:

  • boost your mood
  • ease depression
  • relieve stress and anxiety
  • enhance your self-esteem
  • improve your whole outlook on life.

You can find information and advice on how to get active with a disability on the NHS website.

Did you know?

Research suggests in general adults spend more than 7 hours a day sitting down, and for people aged 65 or over, this can rise to as much as 10 hours a day.