Activity tips for 65 and over

It’s just as important to be active as you get older and it’s never too late to start.

Physical activity can help you avoid a range of health conditions including cardiovascular disease (CVD). If you have a condition already, it can help you manage it better. And it can also help you maintain your independence as you get older.

The more active you are, the bigger the benefits to your physical and mental health. Try to be active every day. Over a week, you should do 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of activity in chunks of at least 10 minutes.

Get up and go

Do you feel that it’s too challenging to get active – perhaps because you have a health condition or mobility problems? Here are some of the most common reasons for not getting active with some tips from people who’ve managed to overcome them:

I have a heart condition

Get up and go - Colin's storyWhen Colin, 62, had a heart attack it served as a wake-up call. He completely changed his lifestyle with the support of his cardiac rehabilitation programme.

"I feel a lot better for it. I’ve certainly lost a lot of weight. And I find it quite addictive! ...You feel good after you’ve had a session in the gym."

I can’t get out and about easily

Get up and go - Jean's story"It’s so easy to give in and just sit and do nothing, but you’ve got to be determined and that’s how I feel about it."

Jean, 87, has osteoporosis and curvature of the spine. These days she finds it hard to get about without her mobility scooter but she’s determined to stay as active as possible – and to keep her independence.

I can’t do as much as I used to

Get up and go - Gill's storyGill, 78, was always active but a run of health problems knocked her down. Now she’s working her way back to 18 holes of golf through gentle walks and Pilates.

"I am much better but I am aware that my balance is not as good as it was, certainly going downhill or down steps. That’s one of the reasons why Pilates was a good idea."

There’s nothing happening where I live

Get up and go - Chandra's story"What made me join the walking group? Really to get out of the house, meet new people." (Chandra, 76)

Chandra’s life was transformed when she found out about the services offered by her local council.

I’ll feel lonely

Get up and go - Walk Good Nottingham

Delietha, Concetta, Pamela and friends decided to form their own walking group and so Walk Good Nottingham was formed...

"Anybody can walk but I think the fact that you’re committed to a time and a place, you kind of want to get there. And we enjoy each other’s company."

I have severe mobility problems

Get up and go - Pat's storyPat, 73, had a stroke seven years ago and is determined to walk again without a Zimmer frame. He shares his story of how he’s built up his confidence and ability through swimming and gym work at his local leisure centre.

"I love it… and not only does it help me physically, my outlook on life is so much better."

Find out more

  • Get up and go is now available to order on DVD.
  • You can also order or download our booklet Be active for life to get some practical tips for keeping physically active when you’re over 65.
  • Walking for health (local walking schemes)
  • Spogo (local sports and fitness finder)
  • Go to Directgov to look up your local authority and find services near where you live.