As the world has an increasing ageing population, more and more of us are wanting to keep healthier and fitter for as long as possible to allow us to live life to the full!
I always find September such a busy time for people wanting to make changes in their lives, try new things and generally get on a bit of a health kick. Its been a lovely long summer, and now it’s time to get strong and fit for the autumn!
Unfortunately, sometimes, as the body and mind ages, we end up doing less and less because of injuries, aches and pains or other health complications and then we start to notice our strength, balance, coordination and movement isn’t quite what it used to be.
My fabulous friend, Heidi Dunster, from Health Driven, was managing an exercise referral scheme for Chichester District Council for more than 10 years and wanted to reach more of the community with her knowledge and expertise so started up a business creating a whole timetable of safe and effective exercise classes for the over 60s called ‘steady and strong’, ‘falls prevention’ and ‘paracise’. They include evidence-based exercises to help improve posture, strength and balance and make activities of daily living easier to achieve.
Between the ages of 50 and 70 ,we lose about 30 per cent of our muscle strength, which isn’t good news if we are trying to regain our balance, get up off the floor or stop a fall.
The classes will include resistance exercises to strengthen those weaker muscles and it is recommended that over 65s should do muscle strengthening exercises at least twice weekly.
Balance is the one thing Heidi believes everyone can improve as we rely on our balance to stay upright when we over reach or trip up!
As we age, our balance reaction times get slower and so do our reflexes. With some simple exercises Heidi can teach you, such as heel raises, toe raises, sit to stand, heel to toe walking and one leg stand, you can start to improve your balance.
Bones also naturally become more brittle as we age which makes a fracture more likely, so if we can prevent a fall by doing weight bearing activities and eating a balanced diet then we are well on the way to improving our health and wellbeing.
‘Keep moving for a more balanced life’ – We’ve seen how ageing impairs strength and balance and this is made worse if we spend long periods of time sitting. The more active you can be, the more you can offset the effects of ageing!
With this in mind, Heidi has become one of the first paracise instructors in this area.
Paracise is a new innovative exercise class designed to enhance and enrich your life. It is a gentle but effective 45 minute standing workout that flows smoothly through movements created to improve mobility, flexibility, coordination and balance.
This is medication in motion to some great music everyone will recognise and love.