Ever wondered how the elderly can stay active? Japan seem to have cracked it…
In Japan many over 40’s are staying active by playing… rugby! This month, 150 different clubs will stage full-contact competitive matches for players over the age of 40 years. It is reported that Tokyo’s Fuwaku Club even has three over 90s on their team!
Joining a team is a great way of meeting other people and an opportunity to socialize. For many, joining a rugby team is a way to battle loneliness and isolation whilst also contributing to a healthier lifestyle.
When asked about their experience of playing the sport and being part of the team, one player said “We talk about how each other plays and no-one gets angry about how we played. The atmosphere is great”. For some, this choice of sport may be considered a little energetic. One participant even commented that he had “broken ribs many times and broken [his] collarbone too”. Thankfully, we have been looking into another alternative with proven health benefits which may be considered a little less perilous.
Tai Chi is a great exercise to practice and studies have shown that it can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, increase muscle strength and improve posture, balance and general mobility.
Tai Chi was originally developed as a martial art in 13th Century China but is now practiced around the world as a health-promoting exercise. It combines flowing movements with deep breathing and is most often practiced at very low impact which means it doesn’t put too much pressure on bones and joints. The great thing about Tai Chi is that it is perfect for people of all ages and physical abilities due to being very low impact. It is an ideal exercise for someone wishing to raise their activity levels gradually and is inclusive for all; the exercise can easily be adapted for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users.
There is some evidence to suggest that Tai Chi can improve symptoms of arthritis and can improve mobility in the knees, hips and ankles for those with rheumatoid arthritis. With regular practice studies have shown an improvement in posture, balance and general mobility that can in turn reduce the risks of falls in older people.
If your loved ones are interested in trying Tai Chi, there are many options available. There are many classes available across the UK led by an instructor. This may be beneficial when first starting the practice to ensure the posture is correct and would not cause injury. Alternatively, there are a wealth of resources available online or at a local library to guide those wanting to take it up in within the home.
If you don’t think Tai Chi is suitable, take a look at our blog on about 7 Sports That’ll Keep You Active Over 60 as we’re sure your loved one will enjoy a few of the sports listed!
Stay active – just not with sports!
If sports just isn’t the way to go, a great way for the elderly to keep active is by going on lovely day’s out or by going on group holiday. There are some beautiful national trust sites across the UK and some fantastic organised bus or cruise holidays. If you would like to know more about activities for the elderly – which aren’t all about sports – read our blog here.
For those that do decide to stay active at home, please ensure they do so in a safe manner. Our personal alarms are a perfect way to make sure there is always somebody to help. For more information, please give our Customer Services team a call on 0800 101 3333. Alternatively, you can order Careline today.