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Be Well, Feel Well blog: Movement – July

July is Movement: What if we don’t have an exercise routine and don’t find the gym that appealing? For those of us who are not finely tuned athletes, we can still get the benefit of endorphins which boost our mood and promote emotional wellbeing.


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Just 30 minutes brisk walking three to four times a week – getting our heart rate above its resting level – is enough to trigger endorphin release which is equivalent in its effect to anti-depressant medication, and the effects of endorphin release are immediate too – so a quick reward!

ActivLives Movement Matters

During the Covid-19 lockdowns the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty said, “There is no situation, there is no age and no condition where exercise is not a good thing.” So, moving something, is better than not moving anything at all.

The aim of the Charity ActivLives is just that. Working mainly with people 50 years and over ActivLives provides a wide range of fun activities to help improve people’s confidence, strength, balance, co-ordination and lots more.

It’s really never too late to start regular physical activity. This could include going for a walk with a friend, to the shops, taking the dog for a walk or walking with grandchildren. There are a number of Onelife Suffolk Wellbeing walks across the county, which cater for those who are confident walkers and those who are not. ActivLives has a wellbeing walk in Christchurch Park on alternate Mondays with over 30 people attending. The group usually splits into two groups; the brisk walk and the reflective walk with more stops around the park. The walks are also a great way to meet and make new friends.

As well as walking, it is important to include some strength-based activity to help reduce the risk of Osteoporosis and other health conditions and also to support people who are experiencing a wide range of health conditions that affect their mobility, to keep people active and independent.

The ActivLives Step by Step Programme delivers 23 Better Balance sessions each week in Ipswich and East Suffolk for people aged 60 plus who have had a fall or who may be high risk of falling. The sessions provide a mix of seated and standing exercise, resistance band work and at some of the sessions you could be participating in a fun seated SOSA dance routine as well.

Members Feedback – RK aged 77 years

“On my first session everyone was really friendly and helpful and the instructor really makes the sessions enjoyable as well. I thought the exercises really helped with my legs and with the arthritis in my knee and in my wrists and it continues to do so. It has made a difference to me as I can now stand for much longer and I am steadier on my feet. I enjoy the sessions to see other members and have a chat, we also have a laugh about things as well.”

Attending a group isn’t for everyone and there are now lots of on-line activity programmes including Pilates, Yoga, seated exercise and dance that can be done in the comfort of your own home.

ActivLives has produced 5 short videos, including some exercises that will help build strength, balance and confidence and can all be done at home, with the aid of a sturdy chair. The videos include: Leg Raisers; Mini Squats; Side Raisers, Sit to stand and Toe & Heel Raisers.

Try to put aside 15 to 20 minutes a day to complete these exercises, building up the sets and repetition over time to ensure you benefit from the routines. You can also squeeze them in during the day when you are waiting for the kettle to boil, holding on to your worktop.

If you like the more competitive type games then our inclusive ActivSport sessions may be of interest, including Walking Football, Badminton, Ping Pong, New Age Kurling, Bowls, Boccia and Yoga. All these activities include movement, they are fun and they bring people together, improving physical, emotional and mental health.

For those of you who prefer to be outdoors a report published by The King’s Fund has recognised that there are a variety of health benefits from gardening, including reducing depression, loneliness, anxiety and stress.

“It’s non-threatening, relaxed and calm. When turmoil is going on in someone’s mind, they need a relaxed environment”

Working on your garden is an excellent way to get all-round exercise for improving strength, endurance and flexibility and can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions.

ActivLives has three Community Gardens, two in Ipswich, the People’s Community Garden in Maidenhall; Chantry Walled Garden in Chantry Park and one in Sudbury where a group of volunteers keep Belle Vue Park looking nice for the general public. We also have the Bee Team who look after our 7 hives and ActivSheds where they make or re-furbish a variety of wooden items for the local community.

If you need support to get moving then contact us at ActivLives on 01473 345350 or visit our website www.activlives.org.uk to see all the activities we provide.

Movement does matter to all of us, so let’s start a new movement and move…..


5 short videos, including some exercises that will help build strength


Have a go at Summer Movement Treasure Hunt

Want to make getting your daily movement even more fun?

Active Suffolk and Suffolk Mind have created the perfect Summer Movement Treasure Hunt cards to help you get moving and engaging your senses while you do it!

With a digital card that you can screenshot/download to your phone, or a printable one that you can use for your school/community group, they have you covered for whatever your outdoor adventure 

Download the printable card here:



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