Sod sitting

At the age of 81 I’m determined to not only “Sod Sitting and Get Moving” but to keep moving for as long as I possibly can! My Get Moving Exercise Plan consists of simple exercises specially designed for people who are largely neglected by the fitness industry. It’s for those of us who are later on in life; those who haven’t exercised in a while, and those who can’t do the type of exercise they used to!  It also involves a range of exercises, specially designed for the less active to perform in the comfort of their living room, and even while sitting down!

The Get Moving Exercise Plan consists of a head to toe warm-up, muscular core strength and endurance exercises plus a relaxation section. Stability drills help strengthen limbs and promote flexibility, while light aerobic work improves cardio-vascular capacity and circulation.

It’s a fact that sitting for too long can result in slack abdominal muscles and slumped posture which encourages cramp and indigestion.  Inactivity is bad for our hearts and circulation, and often results in swollen legs and feet.  Unsightly varicose veins are worsened by sitting with legs crossed at the knee and can be avoided by crossing them at the ankles instead.  About half the UK population suffers from some kind of leg problems and about a quarter seek treatment for conditions such as varicose veins or leg ulcers.

Good circulation is important in preventing problems. When we exercise blood that flows into the lower leg is helped back to the heart by the calf muscle acting as a pump, and by the one-way valves in our veins.   However, if the veins become damaged or the valves stop working properly, blood can gather in the lower limb causing some people to experience problems such as swollen ankles and tired, aching legs.

Before beginning the “Get Moving” programme it is important to stress that you should be responsible for ensuring how suitable an exercise is for you.  Everybody’s health issues, especially those in the over 60 age group, are variable. Some people will be fitter than others, some stronger, others less flexible, and some less stable.

Equipment you may need

Sturdy trainers

  • Mat
  • Small pillow
  • Upright armless chair
  • 2 small water bottles or light hand weights
  • Exercise bands
  • Small soft ball (tennis)
  • 12” ruler or small stick
  • Small bag of marbles





  • Before starting any exercise programme check with your doctor if you suffer from heart disease, have high blood pressure, joint problems, back problems, if you are very overweight, if you have a serious illness, or are convalescing.
  • The “Get Moving Exercise Plan” is not a competition, so start slowly and build up gradually. If a movement hurts – stop! Do what you can today and try again tomorrow.
  • Check out location and surfaces before performing any exercises in your home or out in the garden.
  • Clear a space and check that surfaces are not wet or slippery. Ensure that the support and equipment you use is strong enough to take your weight.
  • Make sure you are warm enough, wear layered loose clothing, which can be discarded as you hot up!
  • Don’t exercise until at least an hour after meals, and keep drinking water to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Reproduced from Sod Sitting, Get Moving!: Getting Active in Your 60s, 70s and Beyond Hardcover – 9 Mar. 2017 by Sir Muir Gray (Author), Diana Moran  (Author), David Mostyn (Illustrator)To buy a copy click here

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