There are many forms of physical activity to choose from

You can learn swimming at any age with a qualified instructor. Photos: Shutterstock.
You can learn swimming at any age with a qualified instructor. Photos: Shutterstock.

Whatever your current level of fitness, or level of mobility, there are activities that will suit your needs and your capacity.

You don't have to do the same thing all the time either. You can do different activities on different days, or change things up to keep it interesting, or do a different sport each season, or find a temporary alternative to keep active if you suffer the misfortune of an injury.

If you need help working around a restriction of any sort - whether it is temporary or permanent - simply talk to your doctor, physiotherapist, or a personal trainer. They can suggest things that are safe for you to do, or safe ways to do them.

It is also unnecessary to go all the way to failure, even with resistance training, and especially with older adults. Len Kravitz Ph.D, exercise scientist at the University of New Mexico, has written more than one article indicating that using correct form (technique) is more important, and safer.

Parkrun is a great regular event each Saturday morning.

Parkrun is a great regular event each Saturday morning.

SIMPLE IDEAS

  • Parkrun is a great social event, and there are currently 380 of them around Australia. Held in public spaces at 8am each Saturday, participants can walk or run the 5km course and their time is recorded merely for the purpose of tracking individual progress week to week. Visit www.parkrun.com.au.
  • Swimming is one of the most inclusive activities available. There are a number of initiatives out there to facilitate getting people with a disability in the water. And everyone can learn at any age with a qualified instructor.
  • Outdoor gyms in public parks are great to get started, or include some resistance training in your week. They're intended for beginners or intermediate fitness levels. If you outgrow it that's great. Just join a gym or buy some home equipment to keep progressing.
  • Yoga is great for strength and flexibility, and people often find the experience quite calming too. Every good instructor will be able to give a safe and simple introductory course so give it a try.
Researchers found that playing racquet sports resulted in a 47 percent lower risk of death from any cause.

Researchers found that playing racquet sports resulted in a 47 percent lower risk of death from any cause.

  • A number of years ago, an international research collaboration led by the University of Sydney found that racquet sports (squash, tennis and badminton) resulted in a 47 percent lower risk of death from any cause, which also ranks that group as the healthiest activities available.
  • Cycling can be used as anything from low-impact cardio indoors through to a very cheap commute.
  • Simply getting out and about more is a great way to get started. You can explore your own town on your lunch break, or do a scenic path with a friend or three on the weekends. A pet dog is a good reason to get out regularly too.

These merely scratch the surface to get you thinking, so find some things that appeal to you and do them.

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