Mr Motivator backs campaign to get older people’s pulses racing

Over-65s are the most active age group in Britain according to new research but more than half still need more support to get their pulses racing. Now fitness guru Mr. Motivator is backing a new campaign to help older people take advantage of support which can help them stay active.

Centra Pulse, a provider of technology like GPS emergency watches and personal alarms that helps older people to stay active in and out of the home, surveyed more than 1,000 over-65s about their exercise habits.

It found that they complete twenty minutes more physical activity a week on average than those aged under 65 who were surveyed within a separate study. A large number of over-65s stay active thanks to chores around the home according to the research, with nearly one in four (23%) turning to gardening and one in 10 carrying out housework in an effort to stay fit.

But barriers such as health concerns (29%), a fear of not being able to match their desired fitness levels (9%), the lack of an exercise partner (8%) as well as worries about leaving the home (3%) still held more than half (57%) back from taking up more active forms of exercise.

Four out of five said that barriers prevent them from taking up a wider variety of exercise outside the home and nearly a quarter (23%) of over-65s carries out no exercise at all. 23% said they would prefer to take up swimming if no restrictions stood in their way, while a fifth would chose walking and one in 10 would start cycling.

63-year-old Mr. Motivator, famous for getting the nation moving on GMTV, has teamed up with Centra Pulse to encourage more people to take advantage of technology that can help them achieve an active older age. Technology provided by Centra Pulse includes a GPS emergency watch that can instantly connect the wearer to a trained telecare professional who can track their location and arrange the right support if they run into difficulties.

Mr. Motivator said: “Many older people do want to keep active but face barriers when it comes to completing activity that involves leaving the home. That’s why I’m backing Centra Pulse’s campaign to encourage more people to take advantage of telecare technology that will give them more confidence to take up exercise inside and outside of the home.”

People in aged 45-54 were found to be the least active, spending, on average, more than half an hour less partaking in exercise a week than over-65s surveyed.

Susan Smart, Managing Director of the UK’s largest independent provider of telecare, Centra Pulse, said: “Our customers take advantage of telecare technology because they want to stay active and independent as they grow older and this research shows that they are not alone. Today’s over-65s are passionate about remaining healthy and active so that they can continue to live life to the full and it’s so important that they are given access to care and technology which suits their changing needs.

“We would urge anyone who feels that their age may hold them back from staying active and healthy to explore the wide range of support and technology that is available to them. Centra Pulse provides a range of easy and affordable technology to keep older people independent for longer such as personal alarms, fall detector sensors and mobile GPS watches which instantly connect to trained telecare professionals who can provide the right assistance.”

The government’s recommended exercise guidelines for older adults includes 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week such as brisk walking or ballroom dancing or 75 minutes of vigorous activity which includes climbing stairs or running, as well as activity to improve muscle strength like aerobics at least twice a week.

Following the new research from Centra Pulse, Fitness First PT Ambassador Anthony Murray has shared his top tips for staying active in older age. He said:

“One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to undertaking regular exercise is losing motivation – something that is faced by all age groups, not just the over 65’s. A great way to overcome this is to either team up with a friend and exercise together. By setting each other goals helping each other stay focused, you’ll be amazed at how much easier a ‘work out buddy’ can make exercise

“You’re never too to start exercising and improve your health! In fact, adults who take up exercise later in life often show greater physical and mental improvements than their younger counterparts. If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, you won’t be encumbered by the same sports injuries that many regular exercisers experience in later life. In other words, there aren’t as many miles on your clock so you’ll quickly start reaping the rewards. Just begin with gentle activities and build up from there.”

Centra Pulse is part of not-for-profit organisation Circle Housing.

Visit www.centrapulse.org.uk for more information.

Exercise through the ages:

Age

Average amount of exercise completed a week

Over 65s

3 hours, 4 minutes

Under 65s

2 hours, 47 minutes

18 – 24 year olds

2 hours, 53 minutes

25 – 34 year olds

3 hours, 2 minutes

35 – 44 year olds

2 hours, 45 minutes

44 – 55 year olds

2 hours, 31 minutes