LONDON, February 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Bupa has revealed that the over-60s are fitter than ever, leaving their younger counterparts behind when it comes to exercise.
Research from the Bupa 'How are you Britain?' report reveals that UK residents who are 60 plus are three times more likely to exercise every day than those in their 20s*.
In fact, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of over 60s work out at least five times a week, with just 15 per cent of 20-somethings making a similar effort.
It's age-defying celebrities who are spurring on the athletic older people (AOPs). Bupa's research placed the yoga-toned Helen Mirren (aged 65) at the top of the list of such inspirational celebrities (19 per cent), closely followed by Joanna Lumley (15 per cent).
As a result of exercise, the over 60s are enjoying a greater quality of life, with a third (33 per cent) losing weight and over a quarter (26 per cent) feeling less stressed. A few even attribute their better luck with the opposite sex** to exercise.
All this physical activity is helping the 60 plus generation to feel younger than their years (70 per cent***) as well as doing wonders for their health.
Simon Fairthorne, musculoskeletal physiotherapist from Bupa's Barbican Centre for Sports Medicine, London, said: "The benefits this generation is experiencing from exercise are substantial - they are less likely to suffer from chronic illness than their parents and have a longer life expectancy. It also helps reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol, as well as improving mental health and overall wellbeing.
"The emergence of the AOPs is very encouraging as more than a third (37 per cent) of over 60s feel they are exercising more now than they did 10 years ago."
For most, walking is the most popular form of exercise (79 per cent), followed by swimming (19 per cent) and cycling (13 per cent). However there are also those who are embracing the new keep fit methods provided by technology with three per cent doing exercise programmes on gaming consoles such as the Wii Fit and X-Box Kinect.
Not content with general exercise, some AOPs are going one step further and competing in endurance sports events.
In fact, the Bupa Great North Run has experienced a 14 per cent boost in entries over the past five years in the older age group****.
Bupa's purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives.
A leading international healthcare group, it offers health insurance products ( http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-life-cover/health-insurance), travel insurance (http://www.bupa.co.uk/travel/), travel insurance for business (http://www.bupa.co.uk/business/all-business/travel-insurance) and advice on things such as the flu jab ( http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/keeping-well/flu-vaccinations), runs care homes for older people and hospitals, and provides workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services, including health coaching, and home healthcare.
Notes to Editors: * 14 per cent of over 60s exercise everyday versus five per cent of 20-somthings. ** One per cent of the over 60's have found a new partner. *** Bupa Health Pulse 2010 Research: Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,000 UK adults between 10 June and 14 July 2010. **** Bupa Great North Run Series data. For more information please contact: Zerrin Levy PR Office Bupa House 15-19 Bloomsbury Way London WC1A2BA Tel: +44(0)207-656-2454 http://www.bupa.com