Thoughts of reduced stress and activity levels go hand in hand with the idea of retirement. A lifetime of hard work and perseverance has finally paid off, allowing for a lifestyle that suits you – freedom from the grind of daily life, freedom to live in a way that speaks to you. November 6 – 12 is National Senior Safety Week, and the Canada Safety Council would like to take this opportunity to remind seniors of the importance of staying active. Too often, retirement leads to a sedentary lifestyle fueled by a lack of necessity to stay active.
According to Statistics Canada, only 13 percent of men and 11 percent of women between 60 and 79 years old met the Canadian Physical Activity guidelines. These include 2.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity weekly. This is achievable with less than a half hour of daily activity!
And while seniors are not alone in not meeting these guidelines, they are certainly one of the most at-risk groups. Regular physical activity can provide a list of health benefits including strengthened muscles and bones, enhanced balance and fewer aches and pains from movement.
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend brisk walking and bike riding as examples of moderate intensity activities, but this category can also include: dancing, playing sports, going on hikes, swimming, and working in the garden. Staying active can take many forms and a motivated individual should have no problem finding an activity that’s enjoyable.
The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” does not apply here – even an older adult who has led a relatively sedentary life to date will benefit from heightened physical activity. It is never too late to get started. And it does not have to be daunting, either:
• Take a walk around the block a few times a week. Start at a slower pace until you are comfortable with it, and then increase the intensity or duration.
• Do not push yourself too hard. Exercise is only helpful when you are able to do it.
• If you find yourself unable to participate in certain activities due to health ailments such as joint problems or arthritis – consult with a physician who can help determine what exercise will work for your specific needs.
• If you are homebound, there are still ways to stay active. Walk or march on the spot. Get equipment to help you exercise from your bed. Lift small amounts of weight to keep your upper-body muscles and joints strong.
Remember, strengthening the body can help avoid future ailments. Strong joints and bones can reduce the likelihood of falls, fractures and outright breaks. Take proactive steps to mitigate these health concerns before they become a reality, and you will find a much higher quality of life waiting for you.
Join us tonight at Boston Pizza between 5 and 8 pm. CCSH is hosting a fundraiser for United Way Hastings & Prince Edward. Bring your family and friends because 10 percent of all the food sales will be donated to our local United Way.
While you are at it, hold the date! November 24th at the Beaufort Pub. I hear the “King” is very much alive and will be helping CCSH raise funds for United Way Hastings & Prince Edward.
Last tidbit of information … if you want a real laugh, check out our Facebook posting for Nov 1st and watch the staff of CCSH being silly.