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Games and keep-fit keep the over-50s feeling good
A CHARITY and a hospital trust in Oxfordshire have teamed up to produce an exercise DVD for the over 50s, aimed at cutting the risk of dementia and cancer.
Age UK Oxfordshire and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Trust’s sport and exercise medicine department, have launched ‘Generation Games’, a three-year, not-for-profit service to inspire the 50-plus age group to participate in more regular physical activity.
Later this year, anyone aged 50 and upwards will be able to request an exercise DVD to follow at home, at a small, but as yet unspecified cost.
And from this week, people can also call a helpline which will direct them to exercise classes and sporting activities available in their area.
Dr Natasha Jones, consultant in sports and exercise medicine at OUH Trust, said: “As doctors, we spend a lot of time treating people for illnesses which are direct side-effects of being less fit and active.
“Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia by 30 per cent and cancer by 25 per cent and we need to discuss these benefits more thoroughly with our patients. Generation Games is a truly inspirational project which has a real chance of tackling the biggest public health problem of the 21st century: physical inactivity.”
Generation Games was officially launched last week at Templar’s Square, Cowley.
Age UK spokeswoman Natalie Allred said: “We want people to find a type of exercise that appeals to them and fits their capabilities, whether that be a chair-based exercise class or morris dancing. Help in finding an activity from Generation Games is free, but people will have to pay for their own exercise classes.
“And the short DVD will be produced by the partnership and primarily be aimed at people who find it difficult to get out to a class, but it will also be available to everyone.”
For details and to join call 01235 849403, email generationgames@ ageukoxfordshire.org.uk, see the website generationgames.org.uk or call Age UK Oxfordshire on 0844 8870005.
JOAN Creese, 79, from Stanton-St-John near Oxford, became a part-time keep fit teacher while working as a nurse in the 1960s and still teaches four classes a week, including one for Age UK, in Oxford.
The grandmother-of-six, pictured front, with, from left, Anne Howard, 79, Gill Bradbury, 77, and Jill Sandles, 71, said: “I think Generation Games is a fabulous scheme and I’m hoping lots of people sign up and get fitter and even make new friends. In the classes I teach are people of all ages, some with health conditions, some who have lost partners and are alone. But as well as improving their fitness and flexibility, the class helps them meet people, chat, and maybe go for a coffee afterwards.”
Picture: David Fleming