Age Scotland, the country’s leading charity supporting older people, is launching a new campaign to promote the benefits of physical activity as we approach International Older People’s Day on October 1.
Let’s get moving is promoting the benefits of activity to older people by telling the stories of people from across Scotland about what they do to keep active and their motivation to keep doing regular exercise.
Age Scotland is launching the campaign today (Tuesday) at the Scottish Parliament.
Keith Robson, head of charity services for Age Scotland, said: “We all know that that we could do with getting more exercise, indeed, in a recent survey the charity conducted, we found that only 55 per cent of respondents were getting the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week.
“Instead of telling people off for not doing exercise, Age Scotland is taking a different approach and telling the stories of what people do to keep active and why. We’ve heard from 81-year-old ladies who can plank for a minute, grandads taking part in Walking Football and hundreds more.
“Whilst all the people who we spoke to knew the benefits of activity include helping to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and dementia this was never the first reason they gave for taking part in an activity.
“Being social, keeping up with the grandkids and feeling a part of a community were more often quoted reasons for being active. So Age Scotland will be focusing on promoting these stories to encourage more people to get moving, and in doing so, get more people loving later life.”
Various politicians have been lending their support to the initiative.
Sandra White MSP said: “The importance of physical activity in older people cannot be understated. Be it to maintain a healthy body and mind or to combat loneliness, making sure we remain active is key.”
“Being the Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Older People, Age & Ageing I am acutely aware of the difference staying active can make in later life. Local support groups who work to promote and maintain physical activity with older constituents, as well as across all age groups, are important in these efforts.
“As such I warmly welcome this scheme and wish it every success.”
Anas Sarwar MSP said: “The Lets Get Moving Campaign makes clear that, whatever your age, keeping active is good for your health and quality of life. The Scottish Health Survey published last week shows we still have much to do on issues like exercise and tackling obesity, so I congratulate Age Scotland on getting the message out there that there are simple things the great majority of us could do to be more active.”
Miles Briggs MSP commended Age Scotland for its campaign and wished it every success: “There is a mass of evidence that shows that physical exercise can help prevent a wide range of health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and dementia, and can boost mood and confidence.
“It is really important that all sections of society and people of all ages, including our elderly citizens, are encouraged to exercise and are aware that even gentle activities like short walks can make a real difference to their health.
“I hope Age Scotland’s campaign will persuade many older people to consider taking up a new sport or rediscovering a physical activity they used to enjoy doing.”
Alison Johnstone MSP said: “There needs to be a greater promotion of the many benefits exercise can have for older people in Scotland. Not only that, we need to do better in explaining simple ways that exercise can be incorporated into peoples’ lives with little or no cost. It’s understandable that many Scots, old and young, struggle to exercise when transport policy in this country has continually prioritised private cars over public transport, walking and cycling.”
Willie Rennie MSP added: “No matter what your age is, keeping fit and active should always be at the heart of anyone’s lifestyle. When people get older, being active can be more difficult, but it is precisely for that reason that older people should be encouraged more to live an active lifestyle.
“Campaigns such as this one from age Scotland are exactly what is needed to help older generations to keep moving.”