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Staying active mentally and physically brings huge benefits for everyone. It is lovely to share experiences with others, indeed – for human beings it is probably essential for a happy and healthy life.

Often it can be difficult to reach out and take up new activities or meet new people but with a bit of bravado (they won’t eat you if you say or do the wrong thing!), best foot forward and a willingness to engage with others – so you make a difference to their day – YOUR own life experience can radically change.

This also doesn’t have to cost much either!

CRICKET! Here in Sussex there are a variety of teams who play in various age categories. The County ground at Hove has over 50’s, 60’s and an over 70’s team! I know that there are many others all round the country – so if you fancy getting out the whites again, bat and gloves contact your local Club and askwhat is available.

WALKING FOOTBALL is a slow-paced game where it is forbidden to run with the ball at all and there are no side tackles allowed either! It is therefore safe for all those with creaky knees and backs who want some competition and fun. It is becoming more popular with leagues developing. Teams can play at indoor or outdoor venues.

RAMBLING – this is a more energetic version of a country walk! It has been a popular and inexpensive sport for many years with keen rambling clubs. It is particularly popular in stunning areas of the country and one of the advantages is the safety aspect of numbers and knowing the route you are going on! The ramblers are also dedicated to the enhancement and usage of the Rights of Way for all. As a sideline they also help with maintenance of some paths. It is one of the most enjoyable ways of seeing the countryside and the least stressful form of exercise on the body that there is.

COMMUNITY CHOIR The popularity of various TV programmes and singing competitions have now increased many more opportunities to sing – and so few people do this now on a regular / daily basis compared to years ago, it is to be encouraged. Even whistling has been lost. If you are religious clearly church choirs are a good option but also look for community choirs, “a capello” (singing to no accompaniment) gospel or soul amongst other styles. The singing encourages good breath control, helps to increase the blood supply to the brain and rest of the body and allow s the body to release endorphins – the chemicals which make you feel good so you feel happy and relaxed. It is best to choose a style that you like of course. You don’t have to be a “singer” just willing to be regular, and do your best and happy to learn and work on it.

Hopefully you have found this a useful guide to the many activities that are easily available for the older generation – whatever you physical or mental levels of health. If you think I have forgotten about an important activity – please let me know! Thank you.

Top Tip! Enrol and encourage a friend to join in a new activity WITH you – you can then keep each other inspired, continuing to go when you might be tempted to “give it a miss today” and have one person you know to talk to, to start with.

© Great Guidelines for Later Life 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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