Over-55s encouraged to join It’s Never Too Late to be Active campaign

Hertfordshire residents have one month left to get their free local centre pass for its fitness campaign. 

Hertfordshire residents have one month left to get their free local centre pass for the It’s Never Too Late to be Active campaign. - Credit: psychconsultants

Hertfordshire residents have one month left to get their free local centre pass for the It’s Never Too Late to be Active campaign. 

Hertfordshire County Council is encouraging more residents, mainly those over the age of 55, to get fit for the summer by taking part in the campaign, which will take place until Friday, July 29. 

After the campaign launched in May, more than 1,400 residents signed up and about 600 downloaded the free activity pass. 

The campaign is aimed at not only addressing falling levels of activity associated with age, but also the impact of COVID-19 and the pandemic. 

Recent Sport England figures show a 1.3 per cent decrease in the physical activity levels of 55 to 74-year-olds and a 2.9 per cent decrease in 75+ year olds, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Not only does inactivity impact on the health of residents but it costs our local economy over £16 million annually as a result of treating diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and strokes, which can be preventable with an active lifestyle. 

The first campaign ran in 2018, with 79 per cent of participants increasing their levels of activity to over 90 minutes per week. Those completing the campaign also reported a significant improvement in ‘satisfaction with life’, and ‘feeling worthwhile and happier’. 

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Participants have joined the campaign for a range of reasons - some want to lose weight, some want to get fitter and healthier and some simply need to become more mobile, including 82-year-old Hatfield resident, Maureen, who said:

“I have joined the campaign because I want to improve my mobility and lose the weight that I gained after a recent operation, but I need a little bit of encouragement to help me get started. I had a chat with one of the Never Too Late advisers and came away feeling really motivated, I’m looking forward to using my free activity pass in my local leisure centre.” 

Cllr Morris Bright MBE, Hertfordshire County Council’s executive member for public health and community safety, said: “Being physically active for 30 minutes at least five days a week is known to provide important physical and mental health benefits for older adults.

"This is particularly important as we start to reverse some of the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown. 

“Local services for treating preventable health problems are stretched, yet there is strong evidence that an active lifestyle improves physical and mental health and wellbeing, promotes independence and could reduce pressure on health and social care services.

"There really is no time like the present for our residents to sign up and see how regular physical activity can help them lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.” 

Even though the campaign is focused on older people, adults of any age can sign up at: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/nevertoolate, call 01992 555627 or drop in to their local library.