The phrase ‘put your feet up’ is one of the most dangerous in the English language – we need to reimagine ageing so we grow older activelySteven Ward, ukactive Previous research suggests that one in four people over the age of 65 said they felt self-conscious in gyms, with just as many saying they would be more likely to go if there were more people their own age attending sessions.Older women were significantly more likely to visit the gym if they had a friend to go with them, although it made less difference to older men, the study of pensioners found.Official data shows walking levels have fallen by more than a third in three decades, with the average person spending less than 10 minutes a day on foot. Britain’s obesity rates are the highest in Western Europe, and now rising faster than those in the US, with two in three adults overweight or obese, international research shows. Steven Ward, the organisation’s chief executive, called on ministers to support the drive, by subsidising schemes which help older people to retrain as fitness instructors or sports coaches.“The phrase ‘put your feet up’ is one of the most dangerous phrases in the English language – we need to reimagine ageing so we grow older actively and set an example to others,” he said.“Having older instructors join the workforce can make it easier for people to relate to their trainer and demonstrate that physical activity works for all ages, shapes and sizes.”The report, called Reimagining Ageing, to be released at ukactive’s national summit in London on Wednesday, warns that the costs of not tackling inactivity could threaten the future of the NHS. It follows warnings from health officials that NHS trusts will need 50 per cent more staff in the next decade if current lifestyle trends continue, and the health service does not embrace new technology.Professor Martin Vernon, national clinical director for older people, NHS England, said: “Getting people of all generations more active can improve our chances of ageing well together and living life independently and productively into our later years.“Ukactive’s report makes an essential contribution toward delivering this ambition, and explores how we can begin to support people to increase their personal activity. For many, this is a choice that represents a chance to live a longer, more productive, and happier life.” An army of pensioners and middle-aged people will be asked to train as fitness instructors in a bid to help over 55s feel less self-conscious in the gym.Health officials said the measures to tackle Britain’s inactivity epidemic could help extend life expectancy, and lift mounting pressures on the NHS.Older adults will be encouraged to retrain as personal trainers, in the hope that it will inspire others approaching middle age to take up gym memberships, or join a local running or walking club.Professor Sir Muir Gray, an adviser to Public Health England, said too many people assumed that old-age led automatically to frailty, when in fact an active lifestyle could protect mobility for decades.He urged over 55s to consider retraining in the fitness industry – to boost their own health and encourage millions more to follow suite.“Older age doesn’t have to mean ill health and we know physical inactivity is one of the main contributors to developing dementia and frailty. We need an army of older fitness instructors to lead the way, showing their peers how you can live not just longer but better, by being more physically active.” The recommendation from ukactive, a not-for-profit fitness body, comes as research suggests the NHS and wider health system could save almost £8bn over a decade, if one third of inactive over-55s were persuaded to take regular exercise. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Monday 7 March 2011 9:28 pm Tags: NULL The Treasury will set a legal framework next month to create a floor price for carbon emissions, while announcing a wider plan for encouraging low-carbon investments. The government’s Carbon Plan will award £1bn to Britain’s first carbon-capture and storage project by the end of 2011. More From Our Partners 980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.org Treasury outlines carbon plan Share KCS-content whatsapp Show Comments ▼ whatsapp