Exercise And Wellness Activities For The Elderly

Exercise is really good for both the body and the soul. We've looked at five ways your elderly friend or relative could enjoy more exercise in and around Basingstoke.

Whatever your age, exercise is so good for both the body and the soul. It can improve strength, balance and flexibility. It can lower our blood pressure, help with weight management, improve cardiovascular health and help to combat fatigue.

Brain function is also enhanced when we participate in wellness activities, leaving us with a sense of achievement which in turn boosts confidence and self esteem, improves our mood and reduces the risk of stress-related ailments.

You don’t have to go at it hammer and tongs to feel the benefits. Mild to moderate exercise is effective and, let’s face it, we’re far more likely to do it again if we know we will enjoy ourselves!

Here are five exercise and wellness suggestions for your elderly friend or relative in and around Basingstoke.


Basingstoke Sports Centre, located in Basingstoke’s Festival Place shopping mall, offers a fantastic six lane, 25m swimming pool and a smaller teaching pool.  The Manager, Simon Toop, showed us around this amazing complex which also boasts a state of the art gym with equipment covering a vast range of rehab & sporting genres – but let’s focus on swimming for now…

Swimming can be as gentle or demanding as you choose.  Because water gently buoys your body, thereby supporting your weight so it’s easier and less painful to move around, swimming is a great activity for anyone who’s not as mobile as they used to be.

The Sports Centre offers “Inclusive Swim” sessions on Wednesdays, 09.30-10.30, designed for the elderly and people with disabilities, with staff on hand ready to offer support where needed. The cost of Inclusive Swim is £5 per session, and for general swimming it is £3 per session for seniors.  If you enjoy your time here, a range of paid memberships is available, giving free or reduced cost access to the Centre’s various facilities and activities.

Parking is available in Festival Place multi storey car park, where charges depend on duration of your stay.

All you need to do is book yourself a time slot here and check in at reception. Lifts or stairs will take you down to the changing rooms and to the sparkling clean pools.

To round off your session and help you feel even better, why not nip into one of the nearby coffee shops for a warming treat after your swim?

Basingstoke Sports Centre can be found at Festival Place, Basingstoke RG21 7LE, telephone 01256 326331


What better for a sunny afternoon than a genteel game of bowls?

We visited Basingstoke Town Bowling Club, which is just south of the town centre, opposite Fairfield’s Primary School and between Basingstoke Cricket Club and Waverley Tennis Club.

The Club has been going since 1912 and boasts around 90 members of all ages and abilities.  It is fully inclusive and accessible to all, offering trial sessions for beginners and fully trained coaches to help you start from scratch or polish existing skills. The Club takes part in various competitions and competes in local leagues, playing friendly mixed matches with other clubs over the summer weekends.

In the winter months, the Club offers weekly skittles sessions, and on Fridays there are draughts, cards and board games to keep you entertained.

A bar is available whenever the club is open, along with tea and coffee facilities.

Parking is available in zoned areas along Fairfields Road, Council Road and Jubilee Road.

Membership for new joiners is just £20 for the year, which includes use of the Club’s bowls for new members.

Well bowl me over, that’s great value!

Basingstoke Town Bowling Club can be found at 18 Fairfield’s Road, Basingstoke RG21 3DR, telephone 01256 473 553

Let's Move - Seated Exercise Classes

Let’s Move offers brilliant seated mobility exercise sessions at various venues in and around Basingstoke.  Regular weekly venues include the village halls at Sherborne St John, Sherfield on Loddon, Silchester and Cliddesden. The classes provide effective exercise whilst also being great fun, enabling participants to improve or maintain their mobility and flexibility, and also to socialise.

Qualified, experienced instructors Janet and Dee, who are also Home Instead trained Care Professionals, put us through our paces with upbeat musical routines and various props. The music and routines change each week, providing variety and all-over workouts.  Although the routines are adapted for sitting, participants are welcome to stand if they can do so safely. As well as the limbs, exercises will improve core muscles and balance.

Aimed primarily at the over 60’s, Let’s Move also caters for people living with dementia, Parkinson’s, physical challenges, sensory deprivation, and those recovering from strokes etc, or anyone who just wants to get out of the house and meet a few like minded souls.

Let’s Move is provided free of charge by Home Instead Basingstoke. Class numbers are kept to manageable levels in the interests of participant safety, so please call ahead to book a seat.

Curious? you can see a class in action, led by Janet and Dee, here.

Tip: Wear loose comfortable clothes (trousers and a top) and bring a bottle of water for good hydration during the workout.

Knock Knock.  Who’s there?  Stopwatch.  Stopwatch who?  Stopwatch you’re doing – come and join us!

Contact: Home Instead Basingstoke on 01256 840660 or Janet on 07540 975094


Paracise is a low impact, functional, standing exercise regime, suitable for anyone who would benefit from a low intensity workout designed to improve mobility, flexibility and balance. Perhaps you’ve not exercised in a while, or suffer from a health condition?  Give Paracise a try.

We went along to meet Beth, who is the welcoming and friendly instructor leading the Basingstoke classes. Classes are held at the Steventon Village Hall at 9.15am on Mondays, and at the Hatch Warren Community Centre at 1.15pm on Thursdays. Classes cost £7 each. Taking part in a class we were inspired by Beth’s zest for the exercises.  Low impact and low intensity they might be, but these routines are nevertheless very effective and worthwhile.

Fancy a taster at home? Here are some videos of Paracise sessions featuring the founder and creator, Sarah Goldsack.

Steventon is between Overton, Oakley and North Waltham, and the village hall is at the junction of Steventon Road and Ashe Park Lane, Basingstoke RG25 3BB. Hatch Warren Community Centre is in a lovely open grassed area with plenty of parking, on Long Cross Lane, Basingstoke RG22 4XF. To book please telephone Bethan on 0744 791 5313

Chair Yoga

If you have an injury or mobility difficulties, then Chair Yoga might be just what you need.

We went to meet Vicky, who runs gentle, slow-paced Chair Yoga sessions at Sycamore Halls Community Centre. Her sessions are designed specially for older people and cost just £5 per session (subsidised by the Community Centre and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council). All abilities are very welcome.

Vicky trained with The Inner Yoga Trust, graduating in 2018. As well as yoga, she also offers a range of classes, courses and workshops around the themes of relaxation and holistic health.

Chair Yoga classes are on Mondays, 11.00-12.00.  Please book your place by contacting Vicky Watson on 01256 910 108, email [email protected] or via her website Infinite Harmony.

I didn’t believe that yoga could fix my posture, but now I stand corrected!

Sycamore Halls Community Centre has ample parking and easy access, and is to be found on Sycamore Way, Winklebury, Basingstoke RG23 8AB

Exercise and wellness pursuits are superb opportunities for your elderly friend or relative to get out and enjoy some mental and physical stimulation. Even small amounts of physical activity will benefit our brains and bodies, reducing the risk of falls and improving mental health, whilst at the same time giving us the opportunity to strengthen social ties. All are all essential elements for retaining independence as we age.

Home Instead Basingstoke can help you to support your loved one’s ongoing independence at home by providing bespoke packages of care covering companionship, social interaction, mental stimulation and more.

You can get in touch with our friendly team, to learn more about care packages tailored to suit you and your loved one’s needs, by giving us a ring on 01256 840 660 or emailing us on [email protected]