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Older Asian woman using resistance band

Response to new guidelines from the Chief Medical Officer

New guidelines recommend that older adults should do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days a week to improve balance in later life.

Our Senior Evidence Manager, Holly Holder, suggest improving awareness is crucial to preventing ill-health in later life and reducing the demand on our social care system.

New guidelines from the Chief Medical Officer emphasise the importance of activities that improve strength and balance in later life.

The guidelines recommend that older adults should do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days a week, and activities to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days a week.

Recommended activities include racket sports, dancing, tai-chi, Nordic walking and resistance training.

Holly Holder, Senior Evidence Manager, Centre for Ageing Better, said:

“It’s great to see these guidelines focusing on the importance of exercises which improve muscle strength and support good balance, which we know can have a huge impact on keeping us healthier for longer and reducing the risk of falls in later life.

“Many of us don’t realise the huge difference this kind of activity can make to our wellbeing, especially as we age. Improving awareness is crucial to preventing ill-health in later life and reducing the demand on our social care system.

“At the moment, very few people meet the recommended target for muscle strengthening and balance exercises. Much more needs to be done to make strength and balance programmes available and accessible to people across the country, including more funding and a joined-up approach in local areas.”

Strength and balance

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