Pensioners win award for cycling lifestyle25/05/2005 News
A group of cycling pensioners from Chester has been recognised in a national award scheme to find the UK’s most active over-60s.
Watson’s Wanderers, led by Aston Park’s Harry ‘the bike’s Watson, 76, has won a Stay Active Award to help keep up their active lifestyles and providing inspiration to other over-60s. The award was given as part of the Stay Active campaign launched by Powergen Staywarm, the fixed price gas and electricity service solely for the over-60s, to encourage older people to keep fit and well through exercise.
The group of cyclists, all aged between 50 and 76, meet every Tuesday at the Plough Inn, Christleton, for bike rides of up to 70 miles â€“ with Harry often carrying on and reaching the 100 mile mark.
Harry said: “We’re delighted to have won this award and have decided to use the £100 to ‘refuel’s ourselves during the pub stops. In 15 years of bike rides we’ve visited 461 pubs and a swift pint does the trick every time.”
Local Powergen Staywarm advisor Terry Caldecott said: “Cycling is not only a great way to keep fit and healthy but also a means of socialising and making new friends. I hope that many older people will be encouraged to take up the sport as a result of this campaign.”
Statistics show that we all take less and less exercise as we get older and, by the time we reach 60, few of us take any regular exercise at all. Just 32% of men in England aged between 55 and 64 do the recommended 30 minutes of exercise most days (in Scotland the figure is 26%); and for women in England it is only 21% (with Scottish women at 19%);. For 65 to 74-year-olds, the figures drop to 17% of men (14% in Scotland); and 12% of women (8% in Scotland);?.
As part of the Stay Active campaign, Powergen Staywarm will also be using NHS guidelines to help spread vital advice to older people on ways to keep mobile. The advice outlined in NHS Keep Warm, Keep Well leaflets will be distributed by Powergen Staywarm advisers at meetings across the community.
“Moving around generates extra body heat, so any kind of activity will help to keep you warm,” said Professor Ian Philp, the Department of Health’s National Director for Older People’s Services.
“We advise older people, who are able to, to undertake moderate exercise, such as walking, as it provides real health benefits if you do it regularly all year round. We’re delighted Stay Active is encouraging people who can do so to enjoy active lifestyles.”