Remember the hours you used to spend playing tag in the garden or building a den in the park? It was never a problem getting the amount of exercise you needed to stay healthy when you were a child - probably because your games were a lot more fun than running on a treadmill! So now that spring's upon us, why not grab your hoop, run outside and discover your inner exercise child?
The benefits: Helps to tone thighs, stomach and bottom, and burns calories.
What will I need? Basic hula hoops are available for under £10 from major toy or exercise retailers.
Where and how? Anywhere you like! You'll need a bit of space if you want to try it indoors, as a standard hoop is around 40inches wide. Or go out in to the garden on sunny days to give your mood an extra lift. There are plenty of DVDs on offer to hone your technique but all you really need to do is get a hoop and start doing the twist.
The benefits: Improves cardiovascular fitness, burns fat, tones your legs and arms.
What will I need? A skipping rope which costs a few pounds.
Where and how? You'll probably need a bit of practice to get back to the level you were when you were nine, but you'll find the old skill comes back very quickly. You can skip anywhere - in the park, in the garden, or even in your front room if you've got the space. Build your skipping time up slowly by half a minute or so a day.
The benefits: Burns calories, improves co-ordination
What will I need? A pair of roller skates, plus elbow and knee pads for extra protection.
Where and how? You've probably outgrown your local roller-skating rink but your local park is a great place to skate. Be prepared for a few falls during your first couple of sessions but don't let that daunt you. And for added fun and support, why not get a friend to join you?
Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly
Joe Verghese, M.D., Richard B. Lipton, M.D., Mindy J. Katz, M.P.H., Charles B. Hall, Ph.D., Carol A. Derby, Ph.D.