Get Active at Any Age with Older People’s Week
Saturday 30th September sees the return of Older People’s Week.
The week-long event, organised by the Guernsey Sports Commission as part of Generali Worldwide’s Get Active Stay Active programme, aims to encourage older people to keep moving.
With 21 different types of activities available to try, from aquafit to walking football, and yoga to an outdoor gym session, there is something for everyone. Older People’s Week will be suitable for all abilities and needs of anyone over the age of 65, and many of the sessions are free of charge.
“As we get older, we tend to become more inactive. In the UK, 40 per cent of people over the age of 50 are sedentary, and half of women over 50 fracture a bone due to osteoporosis. All of this can be prevented by staying active and incorporating gentle exercise into your routine. Along with the physical health benefits, it is a great way to have fun and meet new people,” explains Teri Lee, Nurse Manager, Falls Prevention Unit.
There will be plenty of new activities to try, some of which will be held at Beau Sejour, such as aquafit, gentle and very gentle exercise and chair-based classes. This year also sees the addition of racketball, one of the UK’s fastest growing sports. It is played on a regular squash court but uses a larger ball and shorter racket, meaning it is easier to pick up than other racket sports.
Personal trainer Andy Perkins will be running an outdoor gym session at the Saumarez Park gym. He will demonstrate how to use the equipment without injuring oneself and how to tailor exercises to best suit a person’s mobility and capabilities.
In addition to the more active classes, there will be gentle activities such as yoga and walking groups. Steph Charlwood will be conducting an introduction to pilates class, suitable for anyone who suffers from a bad back or has mobility problems but can walk unaided and get up and down from the floor (using a chair if needed). Pilates is an excellent way to improve your core strength, flexibility and posture.
This year, Dementia Friendly Guernsey will be hosting a workshop for sports coaches, helpers and volunteers to help them gain a better knowledge of dementia and change the perception of the illness. 1,200 people are living with dementia in Guernsey, many of whom experience loneliness and social exclusion due to stigma and lack of understanding. This workshop aims to help organisations become more dementia-friendly and inclusive through five key messages.
“We are delighted to be able to bring back Older People’s Week and would like to thank Generali Worldwide for their support,” says organiser Jenny Murphy from the Guernsey Sports Commission. “We want to show that exercise doesn’t have to be overly strenuous or boring; it’s just about keeping moving. It is important 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 Murphy adds: “Often people assume old age limits the variety of exercise available, but it doesn’t! For example, Amy Falla’s seated yoga and Emma Kinder’s chair-based exercises are perfect for those using wheelchairs. It’s never too late to start improving your health, and we want to show that you can have fun as you do.”
Giorgio Daboni, Chief Executive Officer, Generali Worldwide, comments: “It is wonderful to work with the Guernsey Sports Commission again this year to help 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 9:00 am at Le Friquet Garden Centre on Saturday 30th September with a morning drop-in session with Heidi Almonte who will be there to answer questions and assist with ideas on how to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
The full timetable for Older People’s Week, with information on how to book classes, can be found here: BROCHURE