But it's not all doom and gloom, here are ten easy tips to get you active and keep you in tip, top shape.

  1. It’s never too late. Everyone of every age can benefit from being active. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease or osteoarthritis or if you have symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, dizziness or joint pain, talk to your GP before you increase your activity levels. Most health conditions are helped by being physically active.
  2. Take it easy. Begin with five to 10 minutes a few times a week and gradually increase to reach the recommended 30 minutes five days a week.
  3. Wear proper fitting shoes. If you are buying new shoes, have your feet properly measured by an expert in a shoe shop or a sports shop.
  4. Walk. As much as you can. It’s a great form of activity and it’s free. 
  5. Active holidays or days out. There are many beautiful parks/ beaches where it is safe to walk. 
  6. Active housework. Gardening, washing floors and windows are good ways of keeping active around the house.
  7. Join a group. There are many group activities for older people. The Go for Life programme is running in many communities. 
  8. Be active indoors. Shopping centres are a good place to walk when the weather is bad.
  9. Move in your chair. The Go for Life programme will show you how to be active while you sit. 
  10. Adapt. If you have a movement or sensory difficulty you can adapt the activity. For further information, contact your local sports partnership sports inclusion disability officer or the CARA National Adapted Physical Activity Centre.

These Go For Life fact sheets will give you some more great ideas.

‘I pretty much spent my whole adult life in a car, in a chair at the office, or on a couch – being active was for other, more energetic and possibly slightly annoying people.  I was also very overweight, so even the thought of trying to get into any sort of stretchy clothing and move around in front of people was pretty scary - and even to my slight shame I really never did anything much to get out and run around with my son when he was small.  In my mid 30s I sort of got it together weightwise, and on the advice of the Weight Watchers lady, I just started to walk 30 minutes a day.  It sounds very little – but it was amazing how much of a difference it made to how I felt, and how much it helped me to lose weight. It’s hard to explain how starting to be even a little bit active changes you very quickly, even though it’s really hard at the beginning, and you often have to force yourself – really force yourself!  It’s hard when even the little bit you are doing makes you break out in a sweat. It’s hard when you make the HUGE mistake of comparing yourself to others. It’s very hard if you, like I did, spend too much time telling yourself that you’re ‘very unfit’ and ‘this isn’t making any difference’.  But then - your body makes progress remarkably fast – because I think really, deep down, our bodies want to move. We are born wriggly, and you can’t stop most little kids from running around.  Despite having sat on the sidelines for pretty much all my life, feeling pretty awful about how I looked and how unfit I was, just walking for 30 minutes a day changed how I feel forever. I am now very proud of being a pretty active person – even though I am still not a skinny one! I now cycle to work and home again every day, so the exercise doubles as transport, it’s a feeling of freedom from traffic, from stale air in the car – I get to see the city close up, I feel clearer headed, and it also makes a huge difference to my mood and how I react to the normal ups and down of the week. I still don’t look great in stretchy clothes but nothing dents the happiness and even confidence you can create from minding yourself and letting your body do what it wants – deep, deep down underneath the sofa cushions.’

Fidelma, Limerick.