What if I don’t keep active?

This is the bad news page.  What happens if you don’t keep active on a regular basis?

Well, obviously, you won’t receive the benefits listed in What’s in it for me.  However, ask yourself what type of older age you want.

I would say that I can speak for most people when I say that we all want a fit and independent older age.  Particularly the indepence bit.

I can’t promise continued good health into older age – unforeseen things happen.  However, it has been shown again and again that keeping active helps people cope with ill-health and helps healthy people stay healthy, fit and independent for longer.

As we get older we notice a few more everyday aches and pains.  I do, anyway.  Getting up after sitting, or getting out of the car after a longish drive can have me hobbling along until I get straightened up.  This shows that I need MORE, not less, exercise.

In older adults, muscle mass is lost if the muscles are not worked.  It is important for your continued independence that your muscles keep their size and strength.   This doesn’t working to exhaustion but needs to be a bit challenging for it to be effective.

To get good at something we need to practise it and keep practising it.  That goes for our muscles and joints as well as anything else.  Think about these points

  • If you have difficulty going up stairs DON’T USE THE LIFT – practise going upstairs.  You don’t need to go all the way up – just one floor to begin with.
  • If you have difficulty getting out of a chair DON’T GET ONE OF THOSE TILTING CHAIRS – strengthen the muscles that get you out of the chair.
  • If you feel a bit unsteady when you wallk (I sometimes stagger around as if I have had a few stiff gins), DON’T GET A STICK, practise walking
  • If you get puffed walking to the shops DON’T TAKE THE CAR – practise walking to the shops.

Sorry, all this is a bit preachy, but my point is that we get wobbly and stiff because we aren’t using our muscles.  At the first spot of effort we jump in the car (well I did and sometimes still do).

So, what happens if you don’t keep active?  Like the Post Office says ‘use it or lose it’.  The less you do the less you will be able to do and the less you will want to do and so it goes on until you are dependent on other people.  Scary stuff.





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