Cork Sports Partnership, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, fitWalk Ireland and Cork City Council launched the first fit sticks trail in Cork in Tramore Valley Park. Pictured are Stephen Scully, Parks Dept, Cork City Council; Caroline Kelleher, Health Promotion Officer with the HSE; Frank Fahey, Fitwalks Ireland and Alison Chambers, Walking Promotion Officer, Cork Sports Partnership. Photo: Brian Lougheeed

Get active as you get older

By Maisie Mould

Staying active and strong is so important in order to maintain and improve our standard of living as we age.

One organisation offers a suite of focused initiatives, programmes and activities geared towards older adults.

The Cork Sports Partnership (CSP), founded by the Irish Sports Council and Sport Ireland, promotes participation in sport in communities nationwide by making it accessible to everyone.

Their mission is to ‘keep Cork active’, and they cater to different sectors of the population including men, women, children and youth, people with disabilities and older adults.

Older adults have a range of age-friendly activities, classes and programmes to choose from, including Staying Fit for the Future with Better Balance Bones, as part of CSP’s WellComm Active Initiative, online exercise programmes and workouts and walking activities.

Described as an on your feet exercise class, Staying Fit for the Future is delivered over 10 weekly sessions in a community setting.

Often, ageing is associated with the development of certain physical impairments. This programme aims to help participants enjoy an active and healthy life by preventing physical deterioration through improving strength, flexibility, range of movement and balance.

Testimonies available on the website state that the classes are well-run, improve confidence, are good for the mind and are necessary for maintaining a healthy physical state.

The classes are available in a range of venues. The price for the 10 week programme is €63.60. To book, visit the CSP website.

Other initiatives

Other initiatives for older people include online exercise programmes and workouts suited to all abilities, with particular focus on at-home seated movement.

Among the many potential benefits of these forms of exercise are improved flexibility, and circulation, increased coordination and strength, and better posture and balance.

The Movement Minute video sessions offer low-impact at-home exercise sessions. They are available pre-recorded on YouTube, and are livestreamed from the Age and Opportunity Facebook page every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am.

Siel Bleu organises a range of at-home exercise classes. The Chair Gym Exercise Classes can be done from your seat at home, and are regularly updated videos on Siel Bleu’s YouTube account. The Siel Bleu team also have a timetable of classes that are streamed live on Facebook and YouTube at 11am and 2pm.

The HSE offers the Easy Exercise programme which encourages people who may be less active to engage in low-intensity movement and develop healthy habits.

Walking is an excellent form of exercise for older adults. It can strengthen bones, prevent osteoporosis and arthritis, may reduce blood pressure, and improves balance and joint flexibility. Walking is a suitable exercise for many, as it allows for a range of physical ability and pace.

The CSP offers information on how to make walking easier, including a section on activator poles (also known as urban poling). They are a development of Nordic poling, and are designed to improve balance and mobility.

Challenges and ideas to encourage walking are also available, including community walking programmes, online workshops, hillwalking and mountaineering skills, and many more.

For more information, to book classes, to find links to programmes, or to get in touch, visit the CSP website at