As we get older, muscle strength is reduced and some movements, such as leaning sideways or turning quickly, can cause a loss of balance. This can begin earlier than expected from our early fifties onwards

The good news is, you don’t have to start weightlifting to build strength - hill-walking, yoga, team sports like tennis and cricket, or even just climbing the stairs can all help to build muscle strength and prevent falls and injuries later in life.

The Active Lives Survey (November 2021), a report on the sport and physical activity behaviours of adults (aged 16+) across Somerset, shows the percentage of adults reporting 2+ sessions per week of muscle strengthening physical activity, has dropped, in line with national figures. The report highlights a large decrease in Sedgemoor and South Somerset.

Chard & Ilminster News:

Over time, an inactive lifestyle can dramatically increase the risk of falls and associated injuries later in life. Certain types of exercise can help to prevent this loss of strength, by targeting muscle groups involved in balance and stability.

Stronger 4 Longer is a new campaign encouraging adults over 50 to build muscle strength to protect their future health. Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) is the lead provider for the campaign, providing improved awareness and opportunities for people to build strength and balance in ways that are relatable to them now and prepare them for the future.

Chard & Ilminster News:

Campaign Ambassador Georgina, 55 said, "I started exercising in my 50s because I was feeling a little bit rubbish...I was having various symptoms, which I now recognise as menopause symptoms...Such as not sleeping very well, a little bit of anxiety, lack of confidence, lack of energy and strength...So I thought ‘I wonder if I could’, and I started running, and that gave me a lot more confidence".

"The reason that I am continuing to be active, is because I'm really enjoying the fun side of it, the social side of it, the sense of achievement, so that was the immediate goal. But actually, long term I am actually feeling better than I did in my 20s, my 30s and my 40s, and I want to feel like this when I am in my 60s, 70s and my 80s. I still want to be that person at Parkrun on a Saturday morning...and that will give me strength and confidence in all aspects of life."

To find out how to get started, and to find resources and exercises you can try at home and or out and about, visit the Stronger4Longer website at