The many benefits of physical activity have sparked a campaign directed at physicians. The campaign encourages doctors and other health professionals to prescribe physical activity—along with good dietary choices—as a first line of defense against obesity and chronic diseases prevalent in people over the age of 65.
Although physical activity is a well-known deterrent to obesity, the idea of physical activity combating and managing diseases and conditions common to older adults is less commonly known. Specifically, diabetes; osteoarthritis; osteoporosis; cardiovascular disease, and hypertension have been identified as conditions that can be affected positively by a specific program of physical activity. There is significant evidence that even starting late in life can improve pain management and enhance overall well-being.
Physical activity also has been shown to improve mental health and cognitive function and has been found to contribute to the management of disorders such as depression and anxiety. An individualized program of cardiovascular and strength conditioning, flexibility, and balance is important in reducing the risk of falls—a primary cause of disability for older adults. Lastly, an active lifestyle also provides new opportunities for forming friendships, expanding social networks, and interacting more with the community and the environment.
Spring is an especially good time to get out the walking shoes, swimsuit, bicycle, gardening tools, and anything else you need to be active. Check with your physician as to recommendations and any restrictions for diagnosed conditions that may affect physical activity choices.
Featured classes and fitness offerings are listed in the Life Enrichment/Wellness calendar. For additional information on appropriate physical activity choices, contact a member of the Life Enrichment/Wellness team. Step into spring with a renewed commitment to be physically active every day!