Golf is one of the few sports you can do whatever age you are, and I play at least once a week. I belong to a gym, too, but you can get plenty of exercise at home. Gardening, cleaning the house, going for a walk, even cooking. You could even pickle some walnuts, my favourites! 


Keeping active in older life keeps your brain sharp


"Loneliness is a terrible thing at any age, but it can be so debilitating in later life."

I think it is essential to have an active and healthy lifestyle in later life; I have never been busier and never more active than I am now. Exercising regularly and eating healthily are linked to a healthier brain and sharper thinking skills and I think it is so vital to keep your mind active and alert; it builds confidence. But exercise is so good for you, no matter what your age. It is too easy to shut yourself away in later life and become sedentary. Be active – get out and socialise. Meeting other people is a great stimulant.


Dancing is great exercise; as is housework!


I am biased, of course, but dancing is a wonderful way to feel healthy and alive. Any kind of dancing is so stimulating. There are so many dancing clubs out there these days, why not join one? It’s a great way of socialising while learning a new skill. It is never too late to start.

Any amount of physical activity makes such a difference. It gets the heart pumping and the old muscles working, and you can do so much. It could be a brisk walk in the countryside, even doing housework – hoovering, polishing and cleaning are a great form of physical activity. Don’t put it off; make it a fun activity and not a drudgery. Remember, it is doing you good.

If you have one, get on your bike. Cycling is a great way to keep fit. Everyone knows how good gardening is for you – and I recommend it thoroughly. Swimming, too, if you can get to your local baths. They do say that swimming exercises every muscle in your body; that can’t be a bad thing. 


Exercise can really boost your social circle


"Exercising regularly and eating healthily are linked to a healthier brain and sharper thinking skills."

Loneliness is a terrible thing at any age, but it can be so debilitating in later life. Most people will feel lonely at some point in their lives; people even say you can feel lonely in a bustling city. As you get older it’s especially important to try and chat to friends to help improve wellbeing and tackle loneliness. Joining local groups – be it a golf club, a swimming session at your local gym, dance classes in the village hall – can really strengthen your wellbeing because you get to make, and spend time with, new friends.


Loneliness can be a tremendous hardship


Friendships are so important in later life. I am an ambassador for Age UK and the charity does such great work to combat loneliness. Their research shows that significant life moments, such as bereavement, serious health diagnosis, or a partner going to live in a care home, can be triggers for older people to become more isolated and feel lonelier. 


Age UK’s phoneline and clubs are there to support people


Give Age UK a call. It’s easy and it’s free. Their confidential information and advice line is open 365 days a year. You can get help and support on any issues you (or a relative or friend) may be facing, including loneliness.

They say it’s good to talk – and a problem shared is a problem halved. 

One answer is not to give in. Be determined to get out and about and meet people. Join one of Age UK’s clubs. A good chat never did anyone any harm. Local Age UKs offer so many services – talk to them and find out about the services they have on offer in their area including activities and befriending services. It could be life-changing. I give Age UK a 10!