A new campaign has started in Bucks encouraging older people to get active.
The sessions are being run by Bucks County Council’s public health team under the banner of ‘Active Bucks.’
Anyone who signs up for the challenge will be given the chance to try a free activity.
Options include nordic walking, swimming, dance, martial arts, badminton, seated exercise and yoga.
Current guidelines recommend that people aged 65 and over should aim to be ‘moderately active’ for 150 minutes each week.
This is classified as an activity that raises the heart rate and makes people breathe faster.
Recommendations also include two sessions of activity each week which strengthen the major muscles for example digging the garden, pilates or carrying heavy shopping bags.
Among those who have recently signed up to an Active Bucks activity is Ian 67, a retired graphic designer from Steeple Claydon, who tried nordic walking last year and has been hooked ever since.
Ian said: “From the first session in the cold wind and pouring rain, I loved it!
“I knew it was doing me good.
“I feel fitter than I have done for years, I have fewer aches and pains and I have lost significant weight without any change to my diet.
“I am racing up hills and inclines where before I would be puffing and panting.
“It feels exhilarating to get the heart rate up.”
According to Ian, it’s the social aspect which makes it enjoyable with feeling fitter and healthier an added bonus.
However, with only two other male members of the group, Ian is keen to get more men involved.
He said: “It was the social thing more than anything; we have grown together as a group of people.
“We didn’t know each other before and now we all look forward to the session.
“My wife Val will tell you that I get really annoyed if I have to miss a session of this.
“So the big message as far as I’m concerned is let’s get more men doing it.”
To sign up for an activity session visit www.activebucks.co.uk