THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING ACTIVE

Seniors can and should remain healthy, active, vital, independent, and sexy. These qualities are ageless. In fact seniors who live an active lifestyle – are physically active, exercise regularly, and participate in leisure activities – can help to prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada:

* 60% of older adults are inactive.
* Sitting or lying for long periods is a serious health risk.
* Inactivity leads to declines in bone strength, muscle strength, heart and lung fitness, and flexibility.
* Inactivity is as harmful to your health as smoking.

The one thing that most seniors fear is giving up their independence, yet the numbers of seniors who are inactive is alarming. Mobility is essential for independent living – bending, carrying, and lifting are necessary in the course of everyday living. It’s never too late to get active. In a recent study by the Buck Institute, Simon Melov, PhD, and Mark Tarnopolsky, MD, PhD, of McMaster University Medical Center in Hamilton, Ontario, found that exercise, particularly resistance training, actually rejuvenates muscle tissue in healthy senior citizens.

Start today. Keep as active as possible. Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day will improve your health and quality of life. Walk, dance, garden, golf, go shopping, take the dog for a walk, volunteer, cycle, do your housework, take yoga and Pilates classes, play with your grandchildren, and have sex. Yes sex! It’s great exercise. In winter, you can still keep active by walking in shopping malls, going to your local community centre, or joining a gym.

Seniors who exercise regularly enjoy:

* Improved quality of life
* Vitality
* Prolonged independence
* Increased energy
* Stronger muscles and bones
* Fewer aches and pains
* Better posture
* Reduced risk of falls and injuries, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression

Exercise is good for all seniors, even those with medical conditions including heart conditions, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Please consult your doctor for a medically recommended exercise program.

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