17:37 Friday 14 February 2014

It's never too late to start exercising

Written byCAROLINE KAY

Cycling in South Derbyshire Cycling in South Derbyshire

IF you have never been keen on sports, how can you ensure that you can benefit from a good dose of exercise?

“Exercise cuts the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and depression,” said Vicky Smyth, South Derbyshire’s Health Partnership manager.

“Every seven minutes, someone dies from a heart attack. If you are not active, you are more likely to have a heart attack than someone who is active.

“The British Heart Foundation recommends that you should build up to doing 15 x10 minute sessions each week.

“Small changes can also make a big difference. You could break up the time you spend sitting still by simply always standing up to talk on the phone or walking around during the advertisements on TV.

“You can also increase the amount of movement you do by joining in some of the many activities we have in South Derbyshire.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a late starter to exercise, just that you do it.”

Many people don’t take part in exercise because they fear falling.

“When you are active, you develop strength and balance which helps you to reduce the risk of falls,” said Vicky.

“We have lots of Strictly No Falling opportunities for older people including chair-based exercise classes that are perfect for those new to exercise or who feel unsteady on their feet.

“On Tuesdays there are chair-based exercises from 2.30pm until 3.15pm at Green Bank Leisure Centre.”

For those who want to skip the light fantastic, there is basic ballroom and sequence dancing at Oakland Village in Swadlincote every Thursday from 7.45pm for an hour, costing £3.

Older people who want to enjoy badminton and swimming can go along to 50+ Activity Mornings at Etwall Leisure Centre on Mondays and Fridays from 7am until 10am, priced £2.

Fifty+ Activity Mornings also take place at Green Bank Leisure Centre on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am until noon and cost £2.10.

And for those who like their exercise a little less hectic, Tai Chi is on offer across the district.

“Tai Chi is a good option to increase strength and balance,” said Debbie Chesterman of Get Active in The Forest.

“It is an exercise which provides relaxation with slow and gentle movements combined with deep breathing.”

“On a Tuesday there’s a session, from 3pm until 4.30pm, at Rosliston Forestry Centre. The session costs £3.50 and is ideal for beginners. There’s a shorter session on a Wednesday, from 1.30pm until 2.30pm, at Oakland Village.”

Get Active in The Forest hosts an Over-50s Cycling Club at Rosliston Forestry Centre on a Friday, from 10am until 11am.

“You don’t even have to own a bike to take part,” said Debbie.

“Bike hire costs £3, and the sessions cost £1.50 if you bring your own bike.

“Joining a club is a great way to socialise and have fun with new friends. Cycling is a low impact exercise and easy on the joints.”

For anyone with green fingers, South Derbyshire’s Environmental Education team offers drop-in gardening sessions at Rosliston Forestry Centre, and there is also a range of free health walks available, as well as so many other activities to choose. To find out more visit www.healthiersouthderbyshire.org

“No matter how long it is since you have exercises, I would recommend just having a go,” said Debbie.

“You will feel the benefits, perhaps sooner than you think!”

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