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Council encourages strength training as key to healthy ageing

As part of the current Move in May campaign, Redditch Borough Council are sharing the importance of strength training for individuals of all ages.

The council’s Sports Development Team are encouraging residents to incorporate simple strength exercises into their daily routines, using everyday items at home or in a more formal environment through gyms or community classes.

Strength training is widely acknowledged for its positive impact on improving overall health and wellbeing, particularly as individuals age. The NHS recommend people of all ages do two strength and balance activities a week, in line with their fitness and capabilities.

Research suggests that engaging in regular strength training exercises can significantly improve muscle strength, balance, and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls and enhancing overall quality of life among older adults.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure Services, Councillor Juliet Barker Smith, said: "Strength training plays a vital role in preserving health and independence, particularly as we grow older. Our goal is to encourage people of all ages to focus on their wellbeing and remain active by offering simple and accessible exercises, especially throughout the Move in May campaign."

Leader of the Council, Councillor Joe Baker, said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents is very important, so it has been wonderful to see the wide variety of opportunities available to people of all ages and abilities throughout the Move In May campaign. Movement of any kind, whether strength training or a walk in one of our beautiful parks, is essential to healthy ageing and we hope residents have found this showcase of activities helpful and encouraged to take part.”

The council runs several classes which incorporate strength training and work closely with partners such as Rubicon Leisure and Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health Team to deliver sessions suitable for all. Some strength classes include, Tai Chi, Active Seniors, Escape Pain, Joint Effort, Senior Circuits, Live Well Be Well and other specialised courses for individuals with specific medical conditions such as cancer rehab pathway and Multiple Sclerosis sessions. All sessions run and endorsed by the council are available here.

One participant taking part in the latest escape pain sessions has doubled the amount of sit to stands he can do in a matter of just a few weeks of doing basic strength training, which will have a big impact on his day-to-day life.

The team are also keen to encourage strength training at home to make it affordable and accessible for all. Strength training can be done simply, quickly, and easily and draw on the versatility of everyday items such as cans of beans or bottles of water, which can be used as makeshift weights for bicep curls, shoulder presses, and other resistance exercises. These exercises can be easily performed at home, during breaks at work, or even while waiting for the kettle to boil, making it convenient for individuals to prioritise their health and fitness even with busy schedules.

Additionally, Worcestershire County Council’s Ageing Well initiative, suggests that as little as 10 minutes twice per week of resistance band exercises can slow down age-related functional decline and make a huge difference to how residents feel.

Living Well for Longer resistance band exercises aim to encourage over 50s in Worcestershire to stay active and well. Free resistance bands are available for residents to collect at all local libraries in Worcestershire.

Residents can follow the council’s social media channels throughout May for strength, cardio and flexibility top tips, real stories, classes and details of special events and the launch of new classes throughout the month.

For more information on strength training exercises, instructional videos and other resources, visit Worcestershire County Council's Ageing Well website and Resistance Bands Exercises page.

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