New research has shown nearly one in five Australian seniors believe they are too old for physical activity – but they were more likely to exercise if they had someone to do it with.
Marking Heart Week (29 April to 6 May 2018), a survey by the Heart Foundation revealed that seniors were less likely than younger Australians to be excited about getting active (29 per cent of seniors compared to 38 per cent of younger Australians).
But people of all ages were nearly twice as likely to be excited about getting active if they had someone to be active with.
“You are more likely to feel motivated to be physically active and keep up the routine if you are active with a buddy – whether that be a friend, pet or family member,” the Foundation’s Associate Professor Shilton said.
“Walking groups are a great way to meet new people and to stay active. Many people join the groups to lose or maintain weight and stay healthy, but the friendships they make are a powerful motivator for remaining with the program.”
Associate Prof. Shilton said nearly half the seniors surveyed said that walking for exercise was the last physical activity they had done for at least 30 minutes (49 per cent), followed by “played sport” (8 per cent) and “walking for transport” (6 per cent).
“The good news is that you’re never too old to benefit from physical activity,” he said.
“Evidence shows that physical activity really is a wonder drug and the easiest thing you can do to improve your health.”
At least 30 minutes of physical activity a day could cut the risk of heart disease by 35 per cent.
More than 80 per cent of all the people surveyed said physical activity had a positive impact on their mood.
Seniors were most likely to be active in urban parks or walking trails (40 per cent) or at home (27 per cent).
To find out more about Heart Foundation Walking, visit walking.heartfoundation.org.au or call the Helpline on 13 11 12.