Insight Update

Revealed: Brits’ physical health deteriorates at age 60

Sixty is the age when Brits begin to struggle with day-to-day activities but health conscious retirees are fighting old age by swimming, walking the dog and cycling, a new study finds.

A new study of 1,000 UK adults commissioned by the North’s leading mid-market health club, Total Fitness, has found that more than one in four of those who do little to no exercise find simple day-to-day activities physically demanding as early as age 60, on average.

The data shows that 28 per cent of over 65s who do not exercise regularly struggle with daily activities such as walking and going upstairs.

However, the benefits of exercise are clear, as figures suggest that with a moderate level of exercise this percentage halves to just 14 per cent and decreasing by half again to just seven per cent for those exercising more than three times a week.

According to the findings, almost one in five retirees (18 per cent) believe regular exercise is key to their prolonged independence and as such 36 per cent of this demographic claim to exercise at least four times a week.
Indeed, many active retirees were found to be more supple than those aged 35-44 who do little exercise – 24 per cent of whom claim to suffer from stiff joints, compared to just 16 per cent of over 65s who get plenty of exercise.

One in five retirees also say they try to stay in shape in order to do more activities with their grandchildren such as dancing, playing sports and going for walks.

When asked how the over 65s like to stay fit, swimming came out on top with 31 per cent saying they swim at least once a week. Other popular exercises include dog walking (21 per cent), cycling (18 per cent), yoga and pilates (17 per cent), and dance classes (eight per cent).

Steven Virtue, Fitness Content and Programming Manager at Total Fitness, said: “There are countless benefits to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle, not least for fighting the signs of ageing, so it’s great to see that over a third of the over 65s are getting exercise into their routines at least four times a week.

“There’s a direct correlation between the level of exercise retirees are doing and their ability to complete simple everyday tasks with ease. There’s nothing more important than your health, so even those in the earlier stages of life should try to get into good exercise habits now to prolong their quality of life for as long as possible.

“Swimming is a particularly good exercise for those more prone to stiffness or living with reduced mobility, as the water eases the strain on joints whilst still providing some resistance. Other gentle exercises such as a brisk walk with the dog or half an hour of yoga are also effective ways keep to muscles working whilst gently raising the heart rate.”

Total Fitness is the leading mid-market health club in the north and provides more ways to get fit, stay in shape, and more support to keep members focused. With 17 health clubs across the North of England and Wales, Total Fitness provides a full-service fitness offering; guided by knowledgeable and supportive fitness teams, the brand works hard to meet the individual needs of its members.

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