There is no doubt that exercise lowers the risk of many chronic diseases and increases life expectancy, but it is often seen as a chore, yet another demand on our time. There is also a feeling that, having worked hard all our lives, retirement should be a time for rest and relaxation. The sad truth is that underused muscles, joints, hearts and lungs will deteriorate, but the good news is that it is never too late to start exercising – and it needn’t be a chore.

Aerobic exercise – walking, jogging, swimming, cycling – is a good place to start. If some of it makes you a bit out of breath you will gradually find that you can go faster and further, a sure sign that your fitness is increasing. Strength training is equally important. Strong muscles enable us to climb stairs, carry our shopping, lift our grandchildren, and continuing to do all these things will make us stronger. Not all strength training takes place in a gym!

One of the best resources for learning about exercise and health is DocMikeEvans on YouTube. “23½ hours: What is the best thing we can do for our health?” is a really good introduction to his work. Another of his films, “Make your day harder,” will help you tweak your week to incorporate more exercise.