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Think You Are Too Old To Start Exercising? Think Again!


Exercise can be beneficial to anyone of any age. I think for most of us we get stuck in a rut of work and looking after family that we forget to look after ourselves. My mum always says the less you do the less you want to do, and you know what she is right. I know for me the days where I am glued to my computer I feel more sluggish…..until I get up do my exercise routine (30-45mins long) and then I feel loads better. My back and neck ache less, I feel less stiff, I can bend and move easier and generally I feel more alive as I’ve got the blood pumping around my body.


We see it all too often in clinic. People come to us struggling with back or knee pain and being inactive is a massive part of why they are suffering in the first place. Their bodies are out of condition, they are stiff, weak and don’t move well, it’s no wonder the body starts to grumble, “help me!”.


Exercise has been proven by scientists to ward of chronic illnesses, helps you maintain your mobility and independence.




The latest guidelines from Harvard University state that we should all aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. So, this is 5 x 30 minute sessions. Now this could include a brisk walk, a bike ride, swimming, going to an exercise class or if you are less able just do what you can as something is better than nothing! Just please get out of the chair and get moving.


Please remember though if you haven’t done any exercise at all for years to go get a health check with your doctor first.


A new study that I thought you may be interested in has been carried out by Dr. Benjamin Levine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre. He looked at 53 active and 53 sedentary people with an average age of 53. They have found that after exercising for 2 years the oxygen intake of the active group was increased by 18% and the heart muscle flexibility improved by 25%. They found exercising 2-3 times a week did not have much change on the heart but exercising 30 minutes 4-5 times per week was the winning formula.


They also found the best time to ditch the couch potato gig was late middle age whilst the heart muscles still have the ability to change and become more healthy. After this time the heart muscles become more stiff and little can be done to change them.


Stiff heart muscle tissue is known to be a big cause of heart disease and heart attacks so getting the heart exercised is vital! I guess it comes back to the old saying “use it or lose it”.




Below are just some of the health benefits of doing regular exercise:


  • You have a 35% lower risk of coronary artery disease
  • Up to 50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Up to 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • 30% lower risk of early death
  • Up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer


Exercise pumps more blood around our bodies than when we are sedentary and this is what keeping our organs healthy. Our brains too need oxygen to function well so by doing regular exercise we reduce the risk of developing dementia as we keep the part of our brain that makes and stores memories working the way it should.


Other health benefits are because our muscles keep strong and doing exercise maintains and improves our balance and movement we reduce the risk of falling by 30%. Having worked in the NHS as a physio we saw daily older people being admitted with hip fractures because they had fallen. Staying active reduces the chance of hip fracture by up to 68% …….now that’s big!


If these facts aren’t enough to make you stop and think about how much or little exercise you do then I’m not sure what will.


Life is for living and enjoying and oh one last thing that exercise does is it releases Endorphins (the feel good hormones) so you will feel better about yourself and life in general meaning you can enjoy that walk with the dog, having a meet up with friends or playing with your children or grandchildren. Now isn’t that what life is all about???


If you want to get some help on starting an exercise regime or want to be able to maintain your mobility and independence then let us help you. As trained therapists we can help you move better, become stronger, have better balance and keep your independence.

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About Wendy McCloud

Wendy is the founder of The South East’s Leading Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, who want to keep healthy and active.

Wendy’s background includes working as an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist working as part of Mr. Ali Al-Sabti’s Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain.

Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeons. More recently Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr. Matthew Sala.

Wendy worked in National Level Rugby Union for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand. Wendy resigned from her position as Head Physiotherapist at Southend RFC in June 2011 to open WDC which has become the fastest growing clinic in the South East of England.

WDC is now a large multi-therapist speciality practice in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

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Wendy founded WDC in September 2006. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. Within the NHS, Wendy worked as a Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist as part of an Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain. Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon. More recently, Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex-based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr Matthew Sala. Wendy also worked within the national rugby union as the head physiotherapist for Southend Rugby Football Club. She led the medical service at the club for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand.
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