Ashford encourages over 60s residents to be Active Everyday

There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that being active (even for 10 minutes) can make a huge difference to an individual’s health and wellbeing.

Regular exercise plays an important part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and has many health benefits; it can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of falls and developing certain diseases as well as helping to lower levels of social isolation. According to the NHS there is strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.

It is never too late to become engaged in physical activity, yet for many older people this is something of a challenge. To encourage those aged over 60 to consider at least 10 minutes of exercise a day to maintain a physically active lifestyle, the council is introducing a new health and fitness activity campaign called Active Everyday.

We have created a monthly calendar of suggested daily activities which range from light exercise, such as NHS health walks and walking football, to more intense activities like bike rides with Cycle Circle or a Multi Activity Session at Tenterden Leisure Centre. The activities included are fun and local, plus residents can find like-minded people to engage with too.

Active Everyday will be launched on Monday 31st October at the Kingsnorth Community Café which is located in the Kingsnorth Pavilion, adjacent to the Kingsnorth Primary School car park. From 12pm to 5.30pm, residents are encouraged to stop by, pick up a free copy of the calendar and enjoy fun taster sessions from some of the activities the calendar has to offer. Officers from Ashford Borough Council and representatives from partner organisations will also be on hand to offer advice and information. Refreshments including hot drinks and cakes will be available from the café on the day.

The activity calendar is available to download and print for free via the council website. Those wishing to receive weekly text messages or email notifications about upcoming events can register their details on the website at www.ashford.gov.uk/active-everyday or email activeeveryday@ashford.gov.uk or phone 01233 330451

The campaign will be trialled for one month throughout November. From 2017 an events calendar spanning three months will be available. The free calendars will be available from local hubs including GP surgeries, leisure centres, the council reception, Ashford Gateway and more.

Cllr Brad Bradford, Portfolio Holder for Health, Parking and Community Safety: "The subject of healthy weight is a priority for the Ashford Borough Council Health and Wellbeing Board and we hope the Active Everyday scheme will encourage our residents to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. By partnering up with local organisations like Ashford Leisure Trust, Walking for Health and Kent Adult Education, the council can promote a variety of activities that are on offer at little or no cost for residents to participate in.”

Cllr Jessamy Blanford, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and the Environment, said: “Ashford has a lot to offer for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Residents can walk through our open green spaces and parks, cycle along the Willesborough Dykes trail or participate in group exercise classes at a leisure centre. We hope people enjoy making use of the local and enjoyable activities on offer on the Active Everyday calendar.”