Chances are that if you asked anyone to guess which age group is least likely to be meeting recommended physical activity guidelines, they'll opt for children. So here's some food for thought: 72% of boys and 63% of girls aged 2-15 met the "60 minutes a day, everyday" target. Grown-ups (aged 16-64) didn't fare so well — with 40% of men and just 28% of women achieving the recommended level of physical activity for adults (five or more sessions of 30 minutes moderate activity per week).
But it's older people who sit firmly at the bottom of the class. Department of Health figures show that only 17% of men and 13% of women over the age of 65 are sufficiently active. The older we get, the less active we are. But why? It seems the most powerful "deterrents" are lack of interest and a disbelief that exercise can enhance and/or lengthen life.
Studies show improvements in balance, strength, gait, muscular power, blood pressure, endurance and bone density as a result of regular physical activity.
The government goal is 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on at least five days of the week, but at the beginning your goal should simply be to start moving more. Exercise doesn't have to be difficult — it can help you live a longer, healthier and happier life!
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