Move More Live More Older People urged to Move More to Live More Age NI and PHA launch online tool to help older people stay active to stay strong As we age, our muscle strength decreases by around 1.5% every year, from the age of 50 – that’s 30% by the age of 70. This is accelerated by a lack of regular movement and it can increase rapidly when bedbound. Northern Ireland’s leading charity for older people, Age NI, has teamed up with the Public Health Agency to launch Move More Live More, aimed at encouraging older people to stay active to stay strong. Move More Live More, found on the Age NI website (www.ageni.org/movemorelivemore), features a range of online exercise programmes specifically aimed at older people, which have been tried and tested by a panel of over 65s of all levels of ability. The hand-picked workouts range from active programmes from the likes of celebrity faces Jane Fonda and Joe Wicks, through to gentle seated exercises and physiotherapist-led strength and balance moves aimed at those recovering from injury or just getting started with exercise. Linda Robinson, Chief Executive of Age NI explained why strength and balance exercises are so important in later life. She said, “From the age of 50, our muscle strength naturally starts to reduce year on year. This “deconditioning” is accelerated by lack of regular movement, such as sitting around for long periods or not getting out and about. The process rapidly accelerates if we have to stay in bed for even a few days. “We know that everyday tasks can become difficult, like bending down to pick something up, or standing up from a chair. As we lose strength and balance, we can become more wobbly, and we begin to fear having a fall, which in turn can be a big knock to confidence. “The good news is that with just a little gentle daily strength and balance exercise at home, it is possible to build strength back up. At Age NI, we’re on a mission to get older people moving more, to live later life as fully as possible. As we age, staying active is all about looking after our body and giving it some love, so it can keep doing what we ask of it. With the support and input from the Public Health Agency, we have put together this excellent peer-reviewed guide to help older people to find it easier to move more and in turn to live more.” October is Positive Ageing Month and Aidan Dawson, Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency said: “Move More Live More is about maintaining strong muscles, improving balance and flexibility, and boosting our heart, lungs and brain, so we can get more out of every day and feel good. Whatever your age, the best time to start is today.” One of the featured exercise programmes, Move with Mary, was designed by Age NI Ambassador, Lady Mary Peters, who said: “During lockdown, we became so concerned about the effect that long periods of isolation and time at home was having on older people’s mental and physical wellbeing. For me, life is movement, and movement is life, so we launched the Move with Mary series of strength and balance exercise videos guided by a physiotherapist. “It can be hard to know where to start when you look online so this new guide is a great place to begin. The key is simply to get moving.” Visit www.ageni.org/movemorelivemore, read the health advice, select the programme that best suits your needs and level of ability, then simply click through to give it a go.