Most older people, depending on their physical health, can still benefit from some kind of exercise. And there are plenty of opportunities for them in East Hampshire.
Whether it involves a gentle sport or some not-too-strenuous exercise, there are many ways in which you can encourage your ageing friend or loved one to enhance their health and general well being. Whether this involves table tennis at Petersfield or exercise in Alton, there are activities to suit a wide range of older people. And they’re all fun at the same time – so there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain! Here are a few examples we’ve come across at Home Instead East Hampshire and Midhurst.
Table tennis can be a lovely, gentle sport for raising an older person’s heart rate, strengthening their muscles and joints, and helping to improve their hand-eye co-ordination. And all of that will help them to have an overall higher quality of life, which can’t be bad. A table tennis group meets at Petersfield Methodist Church on Friday mornings at 10:00am. The church can be found in Station Road, Petersfield.
If your ageing adult would prefer something even more gentle, why not encourage them to try playing short mat bowls at the church on Mondays at 7:00pm? This indoor sport can be attempted by players of all abilities. Like outdoor bowls, it involves rolling heavy balls along a flat surface to try and score points by being nearest to the jack. The sport is played in a friendly, social atmosphere, with each older person being able to gradually build up their skill level.
One very good and easy way for older people with a reasonable degree of mobility to get exercise is simply by walking. It doesn’t require any special sporting skills – it’s just a great way of becoming more active. And there are lots of opportunities for joining local walking groups throughout East Hampshire. One good way of starting is by joining Wellbeing Walks, which looks after walking groups of all levels of ability.
The group currently runs 21 regular walks, which anyone can attend free of charge. Each walk typically lasts for between an hour and an hour and a half. However, the group has recently introduced some shorter, half-hour walks for those who can’t manage the longer distances. To find a suitable walk near to you, email [email protected] or call 07341 462825.
The Alton Health and Fun Club is a group that was specifically created to improve the quality of life for the over-50s. It provides exercise classes, sports, use of the gym, swimming and various social events. The club meets at Alton Sports Centre every Monday and Friday from 9:00am, with a range of activities that last into the afternoon. It’s up to your ageing friend or loved one how much or how little they do.
The centre looks after those with mobility issues – there are disabled parking bays; a pool hoist in the main pool; graduated steps in the learner pool; dedicated toilets; and a lift. Members of Everyone Active pay £28.80 per year to join the club, and each Monday or Friday visit costs £3.50. The committee also organises social events, including a theatre trip, skittles, a quiz, Christmas lunch with entertainment, and a summer event with food, drink, and entertainment.
EXTEND Exercise is a charity that hosts exercise classes for older and disabled people in the community or in social care facilities. It aims to promote health; increase mobility and independence; and improve strength, co-ordination and balance – whilst also helping to counteract loneliness and isolation. Classes are held in Petersfield, Southampton and the surrounding areas.
The exercise classes always contain some exercises that can be performed while sitting in a chair, but standing exercises are also provided to ensure there’s something for people of all abilities. There’s also tea or coffee in the interval or after the class so the members have a chance to socialise with the other participants. There are over 30 EXTEND Exercise classes across Hampshire.
Down in Liphook Village Hall, something is stirring. It’s the local ‘Move it or lose it!’ exercise group. It’s part of a nationwide network of groups founded by Julie Robinson in 2010. Julie’s vision was similar to that of Home Instead’s – it’s simply, “to change the way we age and help older people live happier, healthier and more active lives.” To achieve this, she’s dedicated herself to motivating thousands of older people to stay more active.
The Liphook ‘Move it or lose it!’ group meets on Thursdays, from 11:15am – 12:15pm, under the watchful eye of the instructor, Sandra Kinnear. The charge is £6, but for people attending for the first time, it’s free. Liphook Village Hall is easily accessible for wheelchair users, has a loop system for the hard of hearing, and disabled toilet facilities are provided.
If you feel that your ageing loved one or friend would benefit from one or more of these activities in and around East Hampshire, why not encourage them to give them a try? It’s surprising how much better many of our clients feel after a little light exercise.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our selection of activities. If you’re interested in learning more about our philosophy of home care at Home Instead East Hampshire and Midhurst, give us a call or come and have a chat with us!