STARTING TO GET FIT WHEN OVER 50

Fitness is not just a young person’s game. Indeed, the older you get the more important it is to look after yourself - so you can live for as long and as well as possible.

In time, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be mixing it with the twenty-somethings, but getting started can feel daunting.

The key is to start steady. Hitting the paths for the first time in 30 years for a one-hour run could well test your patience or even end with a visit to a physiotherapist. Start with simple but significant changes.

Here are three to get you started.

Walk: Walking is the secret weapon of starting to get fit. It can help with weight loss and aerobic strength and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. Get some comfortable, supportive shoes and hit Victoria Park, raising your pace to moderately fast (not a stroll) for five minutes to start. Aim to build up to 30 minutes. It will be great for mind and body.

Stretch: The years will have taken their toll on your flexibility. Flexible muscles and joints are able to do their jobs properly to help your body become mobile and stabilised. A good stretch to start with is for your hamstrings (the back of your legs), which suffer particularly in modern life. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs out straight in a Y shape. Creep your fingers down beside one leg until you have a moderately intense stretch. Hold for 30 seconds or more. Then swap. Do it three times a week.

Squat: The power of the squat and its ability to improve strength, burn fat and improve flexibility is well known. To get started, squat with a chair behind you. Try to stop just before the chair - it can be your safety net in short term - but if you need to sit down to start with, that is fine to. The power of the squat and its ability to improve strength, burn fat and improve flexibility is well known. To get started, squat with a chair behind you. Try to stop just before the chair - it can be your safety net in short term - but if you need to sit down to start with, that is fine to.

Roger Love