Why Strength and Balance
'Stay Stronger for Longer' highlights how strength and balance exercises help lots of people to keep doing the things they enjoy - for longer.
There are several ways you can improve your strength and balance whilst staying at home:
- Join in a live daily strength and balance class online with ‘Keep Active with Oaks’ every weekday.
- Watch the videos and / or download and read the Strength and Balance Home Exercise programme booklet to complete the exercise programme in the comfort of your own home. Please read our safety checks prior to proceeding with the home based programme.
- Download the 'Super Six' exercise leaflet and try and do the simple six exercises as often as you can.
- Visit Living Sport to access a range of other activities to keep you moving at home’
You can do a combination of any of these at least twice a week, the more the better.
I do feel stronger and much more able to do things I couldn't two years ago.
Brampton Memorial Hall strength and balance class
- Read Judith's story below.
- Watch Lou Weir, a qualified trainer and fitness instructor at Oaks Activities, talk you through a short beginners taster session while she explains more about the live classes.
Keep Active with Oaks - Judith says go for it!
Simple strength and balance exercises twice a week are proven to keep you stronger for longer and ready to enjoy the great things you like doing when life returns to normal.
Cambridgeshire County Council is encouraging people to keep active at home so they’ll stay strong, steady and be able to keep doing the things they enjoy - for longer.
Judith, 70, has been doing ‘Keep Active with Oaks’ classes every day during lock-down since finding them on Facebook. Watch Judith take on a Seated Beginners Class.
Judith is waiting for a knee operation, and admits that with the way things are at the moment it’s sometimes hard to get out of bed - but doing the exercises with Lou from Oaks Activities sets her up for each day and puts a smile on her face.
“I use a walking stick at the moment, and can only walk so far, so exercising at home is the perfect solution for me, and Lou manages to cheer me up with her new routines every day.
I have a good laugh and I work hard. I used to go to keep-fit years ago and every class was the same, but with Lou each class is brilliant.
I like the 9.30am class but sometimes it doesn’t suit me to do it then, so I watch it back and do it later. I enjoy watching the other classes too, even if can’t do all the exercises!
If anyone is thinking about taking part but hesitating, my advice is to go at your own pace, listen to your body – and go for it!”
Strength and Balance Exercise
Falls are not an inevitable part of getting older. Strength and balance exercises at least twice a week can reduce your risk of falls and keep you fit, active and independent in later life.
But don't take our word for it. Watch this short video to hear from those who have benefited from doing strength and balance exercises, and then take the strength and balance challenge below to see if your balance and muscle strength has lessened over the years without you noticing.
Strength and balance challenge
Watch this two minute video and take our strength and balance challenge to find out how you compare with people your age.
Ways to improve your strength and balance can be found below.
What to expect from a class?
If you are interested in attending a class and are wondering what it involves, watch the:
- Meet the Trainers video - and meet those who will help you improve your health and reduce your chance of falls.
- Strength and balance class video - this fun one minute video will help to show what a Level 4 class looks like.
Home Based Exercise Programme
The following three videos include strength and balance exercises for all ages and abilities.
Starting with video 2, please watch the subsequent videos, ensuring you complete the exercises safely and at your own pace. Please refer to our safety checks prior to proceeding with your home based programme.
These videos were produced by the Forever Active Team.
Worried about falling?
If you are aged 65 years and over and have had a fall in the last year and would like further advice about what you can do to reduce your chances of falling in future, contact Everyone Health on 0333 005 0093.
Alternatively, visit the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) Falls prevention web page.
If you wish to complete the home based programme, please adhere to the following safety measures:
- Use a sturdy and stable chair for support.
- If you are feeling quite unsteady, use a fixed object such as a kitchen work surface or dining table.
- Wear supportive shoes and comfortable clothes.
- If any exercise causes pain in your joints or muscles stop, check you are doing it correctly and try it again.
- Feeling your muscles work or a slight muscle soreness the next day is normal.
- If pain persists, seek advice from a physiotherapist.
- It you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness STOP IMMEDIATELY and contract your GP or call 111 if you GP practice is closed.
- Try not to hold your breath – breathe normally throughout.