Ian's Story

Ian's Story

It’s almost like you’ve oiled up all the joints… and you can go out and face the day.

As a taxi driver, Ian saw plenty of older people who didn’t take care of their health. That’s why he vowed to try to move and stay active as he aged. He’s found ways to adjust how he moves as he manages his lung condition, like switching to an electric bike so that he can get up hills more easily. He loves to travel, and wants to make the most of every year he’s got – even more motivation for staying active and, in his words, not giving up on life.

I read in this newspaper that said a lot of old people deteriorate because they give up they say ‘Ohh I’m too old to that now,’ you know. You gotta be positive. You gotta get out and do it. Everybody used to smoke when I was younger, it was normal, it was unusual if you didn’t smoke, you know and um I was a taxi driver for 25-30 years, you’re breathing in diesel fumes. I have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). My lungs are at 45% of full capacity and so I get a bit short of breath. When I was young they used to say you’ll live until 70 well I’m just about 68 now. I’d like to think that I have got more than 2 years left you know and I’d like most of those years to be active. I don’t want to be sat in this chair where I cannot do anything you know and um watching rubbish on the television all day. I try to do exercise to keep myself physically healthy and strong. I suppose I’ve never really been a morning person, I did a lot of working nights, and I just don’t feel like chucking all my clothes on, getting home and going to the gym. So, I do a lot of short exercises, a minute or two. Sit ups, press ups, all the basic things. I give a bit of a rest in between, maybe a cup of tea. Probably drink too many cups of tea in the morning but I think that’s a minor vice compared to some other things you know. This flat always looks a tip in the morning you know, so you do a minute or two of exercise then you go hand the coat up or I left my swing gear on the floor I’ll go hang it on the line outside. I have weights that I do stretches with, and the weight just makes it a bit more than a stretch, makes it a bit of an exercise. It’s almost like you’ve oiled all of the joints and you stretch things out, then you can do things in the day. I got a bike now, but I have to have an electric one because the old one when it came to the hills it was a bit too much. I like to go to Asia now, they’re very interesting cultures. People tend to exercise early in the morning before it gets too hot. You go to the park and see the people doing all these movements and you just join in. I like to do Tai Chi, this nice gentle exercise. When you do that you switch off to everything around about you. Go out and face the day. Do a bit in the afternoon, hopefully get to the pool and a sauna around about tea time. That’s it, that’s my day.

How Ian Gets Moving

Working out with at home equipment makes Ian feel like he can move more easily and lifts his mood. He can do his workouts at times that fit his schedule, and can break up his activity throughout the morning or even the whole day. His at home workouts also allow him to start and stop easily, which can be helpful if his energy is low. In addition to these activities, Ian enjoys relaxing with some Tai Chi, a hobby he picked up on one of his trips abroad.

Since we first met Ian, his mental health took a knock, but he’s found that when he was able to restart his exercise routines he felt the positive effects almost immediately. Now, he is active daily, choosing to swim when he can. After a swim he notices that he feels more positive and has a “willingness to carry on and find positive things to occupy [his] time like volunteering.”

Related Resources

Here are some resources related to Ian’s story about moving more:

British Lung Foundation - Get active

Age UK - Being active as you get older

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