11 jobs that can help you stay active over 50

Leading an active lifestyle doesn’t have to start and stop with going to the gym. There are plenty of jobs out there that will keep you moving, from delivering mail through to rescuing animals. Whilst a physically active job won’t be suitable for everyone, it’s no secret that daily physical activity can offer health benefits such as improved sleep, a reduced risk of disease and a greater sense of wellbeing.

With this in mind, here are 11 active jobs that could help you boost your fitness levels…

1. Postal Delivery Worker

Whatever the weather, a postal worker will always deliver! Postal delivery workers will walk miles each shift, to bring letters and parcels to millions of residents across the UK. If you’re looking for a role that will keep you on your feet and constantly on the move then this could be for you. You’ll get to meet lots of new people along the way, whilst building a reputation as a friendly face in the community.

If you’re upbeat, self-motivated and resilient with a love of the great outdoors, then there’s no reason why you can’t apply today. You don’t need any previous experience, as you’ll be taught everything you need to know on the job.

2. Ranger

Are you interested in conservation? Would you like to help maintain the beauty of natural outdoor spaces? Rangers usually work in popular coastal or countryside areas to balance the needs of conservation and visitor management. Their aim is to make sure that both humans and wildlife can enjoy the space in a happy equilibrium.

As a Ranger you could be doing a range of active tasks like leading guided walks, talks and educational visits, planting and monitoring trees and/or managing ponds – so you must be prepared to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in!

If you’re looking for a place to start, then The National Trust offers a variety of Ranger positions for people with varying levels of experience. As long as you can demonstrate excellent customer service skills and a strong interest in geography, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.

3. Hospital Porter

Hospital Porters play a pivotal role in the smooth running of hospitals all over the country. Their role is to transport patients and hospital equipment to different locations around the hospital. Hospitals are notoriously big places, which is why the work of the porter is particularly important. They play a kind of “anything and everything” type of role and may be expected to provide equipment at short notice in an emergency, or may need to help a very poorly patient get from one part of the hospital to another. Hospital Porters are always on hand to help and things would move much slower without them!

You often don’t need any previous experience to apply for a role as a porter, but you must be able to demonstrate that you have good communication and organisational skills and can remain calm in stressful situations.

4. Gardener

Do you have green fingers? Do you love to be out in the fresh air surrounded by nature? If so, then you could find enjoyment in a career as a Gardener. Gardeners create and maintain beautiful outdoor spaces by carrying out tasks like planting bulbs, digging flower beds and plenty of weeding! Gardening has an endless list of benefits including reduced stress levels, a stronger heart and improved balance and flexibility – plus it’s a chance to bring out your creative side and help to build a space that can be thoroughly enjoyed by others.

If you already have some gardening experience (perhaps you do a lot of gardening of your own or for friends or family), then you may want to work on a self-employed basis, offering your gardening services to people in your local area. Alternatively, employers like the National Trust often take on Gardeners to work in various green spaces across the UK.

5. RSPCA Inspector

RSPCA Inspectors face physical and mental challenges on a daily basis during their mission to rescue and protect animals from dangerous situations. This could include anything from rescuing a dog from a neglectful owner through to rescuing a large bird that has become entangled in barbed wire. The unpredictability of the job means that inspectors should always be prepared to work at heights, swim distances and work in cramped spaces to reach and rescue animals in trouble. There can also be heavy lifting involved – it’s worth considering that you might have to carry a 30kg dog or a heavy sheep!

The fact that you’ll get to be there for animals when they need you the most makes this a very rewarding profession, where you’ll be making a significant difference to the lives of so many animals. RSPCA Inspectors often rescue animals from life-threatening situations, so the role carries a tremendous level of responsibility. If you’re interested in becoming an inspector yourself, then it’s best to contact your nearest RSPCA rescue centre to find out more.

6. Tour Guide

Could you bring a historic or cultural site to life for others? Tour Guides lead people around an area of particular interest in the UK or abroad – including museums, historic buildings and striking landscapes – whilst offering interesting knowledge about it. They are usually passionate people who love history and culture and want others to have the same magical experience with a place as they have. Being a Tour Guide offers a refreshing alternative from the confines of a 9-5 desk job because you’ll often walk long distances around different areas. This is particularly true for Tour Guides who take people on walking tours through beautiful rural areas or around large cities.

Many tour guides work on a self-employed basis – planning tour routes themselves and advertising their services online. If this is something that you’d like to do then the The Institute of Tourist Guiding offers information and advice about how to get started. Or, you may feel more comfortable gaining experience with an established tour company who can show you the ropes. There are plenty out there who will offer full training on the job providing that you have strong knowledge about the area that you’re looking to work in.

7. Cleaner/Housekeeper

You will probably know from doing your own cleaning and tidying at home, how much of a great work out it can be. Just because you aren’t pouring sweat or wearing gym trainers, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t burning calories. When you’re making beds, washing windows and vacuuming floors, you end up doing a wide range of movements including bending, lifting, stretching and walking – all of which help to exercise some of the major muscle groups in the body.

Cleaners work in a range of different locations from schools, to hotels through to office buildings, giving you plenty of options. And whilst some cleaning jobs require the use of specialised equipment and may require you to have experience, many others will provide training on the job for people with little or no experience, as long as they are self-motivated with a can-do attitude.

8. Dog Walker

If you’re a dog lover who is looking for an active role, then why not put your best paw forward in a role as a Dog Walker? There are few times when a dog is more excited than when they realise that they are about to go out on a walk. So if you’re the person who’s going to make that happen then chances are you’ll spend your days being greeted by waggy tails! Dog Walkers get to stay fit, spend time outside and walk side by side with some of the most loyal and intelligent creatures out there – need we say more?

Most Dog Walkers work on a self-employed basis and build up a list of regular clients. Many people start by walking dogs for friends, family or neighbours, as their recommendations can help you land new clients. You can also connect with dog owners near you on pet care websites like Tailster. There are plenty of people out there who need someone to walk their dog – it’s just a case of reaching out to them and letting them know that you’re available.

9. Personal Trainer

As a Personal Trainer, you will have to know more than simply how to get the best out of yourself, you will also have to understand how to get the best out of your clients in terms of their diet and nutrition. Not all personal trainers are super fit themselves, however if you are spending your days training clients, putting together fitness plans and keeping up to date with the latest fitness and nutrition trends – you will be far more able to put these to use in your own life. Personal Trainers often work in gyms too, meaning that it’s much easier for them to schedule their own workouts around their clients’ workout sessions.

If you’re interested in becoming a Personal Trainer, it’s advisable to take a recognised qualification to improve the safety and credibility of the service you’ll be offering. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to build up a client base – especially if you decide to work on a self-employed basis.

10. Childcare

If you’re looking for a role that will keep you on your toes, then a childcare role could be just what you’re looking for! It’s no secret that children keep us young – they have plenty of energy, hate sitting still for too long and are always looking for new and exciting ways to fill their time. When you aren’t helping them play fancy dress or build a tower out of blocks, you’ll be collecting them from school/nursery, making their dinner or tidying up after them.

There are several different childcare roles that might pique your interest, such as working as a Nanny in another family’s home, childminding in your own home or working in a nursery. There are also full and part-time options available, so you can choose the level of commitment that suits you. If you’d like to find out more, then why not try one of the options below?

11. Butcher

If you’re passionate about great quality food and are looking for a role where you’ll never stop learning, then you could consider becoming a Butcher. Butchers are essentially meat experts who are skilled in everything from cutting meat through to seasoning and cooking it. People who buy from a Butcher (rather than buying pre-packaged meat from a supermarket) often do so because they are seeking a higher quality product, plus advice on how to prepare, cook and serve it. Whilst Butchers must have great people skills and extensive knowledge in their field, they must also be able to stay on their feet all day and move and cut heavy slabs of meat – so it’s not a role for the faint-hearted!

There isn’t a set route to becoming a Butcher, but you’ll usually apply for a job as a trainee. Many employers will take on individuals with little or no experience as long as they have a can-do attitude and a desire to provide great quality customer service.

And finally…

If being more active at work isn’t right for you, then there are several other ways that you can introduce activity into your life such as going for a brisk daily walk, riding your bike or even mowing the lawn! Sometimes it can also help to start by making small changes to your existing routine, like walking to the shops instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the lift. These things may seem small but when it comes to activity, every little helps towards boosting your fitness levels.

Do you work in an active role? Or do you know of any other active roles that may appeal to others? Email us at [email protected] or post on the community forum. We’d love to hear from you.

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