Over 65’s Encouraged to Get Active and Stay Active

7th September 2016

The Guernsey Sports Commission is organising a fortnight of tailor-made physical activities for the older generation as part of Generali Worldwide’s Get Active Stay Active programme.  Members of the Falls Reduction team based at the PEH have a special interest in promoting activity in older people. They have been helping to organise the activities culminating in a celebration of International Older People’s Day on 1st October by inviting local care homes to have an exercise event and afternoon tea.

There are over 25 different types of activities available to try and almost all of the sessions are free of charge. It is hoped that they will encourage many people to try a new activity.

From yoga and outdoor group walks to more unusual activities such as wheelchair and line dancing, OAPs Fortnight will be suitable for the abilities and needs of anyone over the age of 65.

“In the UK, 40 per cent of people over the age of 50 are sedentary, and half of women over the age of 50 will fracture a bone due to osteoporosis. Much can be done to help prevent inactivity and falls, and gentle exercise is an excellent way to stay active and meet people,” explains Teri Lee, Nurse Manager.

There are plenty of new activities to try and some will be held at Beau Sejour, such as group swimming lessons, Aquafit, walking football, relaxed exercise classes and ‘Keep Moving’.

Rajan Chaudhary from Mindful Guernsey will be running Qigong and Tai Chi classes to improve balance, spinal health, core strength, breathing and flexibility. More active classes include Ros Keenor’s FitSteps offering ballroom, latin, waltz and quickstep dancing for a fun fitness experience.

Health screening is also included in Adam Gleeson’s free one-to-one personal training sessions, which can take place at home or at Beau Sejour gym.

“We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting yet important fortnight for the older members of our community and would like to thank Generali Worldwide for their support,” says organiser Stephanie Batiste from the Guernsey Sports Commission. “Exercise doesn’t have to be overly strenuous or boring as long as you find something that suits you. The aim is to remind the older generation that making exercise a regular part of life has a whole range of health benefits, from boosting immune function and energy levels to improving digestion and circulation.”

Ms Batiste adds: “It is a misconception that old age limits the variety of exercise available, but it really doesn’t! For example, Amy Allen’s seated yoga and Jason Shambrook’s table cricket are perfect for those using wheelchairs. It’s never too late to start improving your health, and we’ve incorporated plenty of fun in the process.”

“It is vitally important we acknowledge and celebrate older people in our community,” says Cathy Bailey, from Ageing Well in the Bailiwick. “By giving time to focus on increasing exercise in this age group, it is hoped we can encourage movement and highlight the health benefits of keeping fit, regardless of ability.”

Giorgio Daboni, Chief Executive Officer, Generali Worldwide comments: “It is wonderful to see the Sports Commission helping the older members of our community to stay active. As a company we believe that everyone, whatever their age, can enjoy an active and fulfilling life and we are delighted to be in a position to help.”

The first session takes place at 4.30pm at Richmond Court on Monday 19th September with an afternoon class of gentle stretching with Zumba fitness instructor Pam Marsh. The full timetable for OAPs Fortnight, with information on how to book classes, can be downloaded here