A 79-year-old retiree in Tadcaster is showing younger generations that maintaining regular exercise and staying active in the community is as valuable as a nice relaxing cuppa each day, and it comes with a swathe of extra benefits.
Former Deputy Headteacher Roy Butterfield, who lives at Hanover Housing Association’s Popple Well Springs property in North Yorkshire, believes that a positive attitude and a healthy approach to life is helping to keep him in shape both mentally and physically.
As Men’s Health Week gets underway across the country to help to improve the health of men and boys, the role that housing providers can play in future ill health prevention and wellbeing strategies is growing, especially at a time when local health and social care budgets are being squeezed.
As a specialist provider for the over 55s, Hanover encourages active lifestyles and promotes wellbeing across their 630 estates. The organisation believes that exercise can help residents stay healthy, energetic, and independent as they get older, and encourages them to remain healthy and active as much as possible, hosting a range of activities such as Boccia, Tai Chi and ballroom dancing.
Roy said: “After 50 years of regular running, my knee joints were damaged and I started swimming as a substitute activity. I swim three times a week and am also a volunteer helper at Tadcaster Community Swimming Pool. I have recently acquired osteoarthritis in the hip but I have been prescribed appropriate exercises which I intend to pursue conscientiously.
“Swimming is a great way of keeping fit. Not only does it keep the heart rate up, but it is certainly a lot more gentle on the joints! What’s more, it helps me maintain a healthy weight, a healthy heart and increases my lung capacity.”
Statistics show that in the UK, one man in five dies before he reaches 65, while adults aged 65 and over spend, on average, 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.