If heat and humidity were your excuses for not exercising regularly in July and August, with cooler mornings and evenings, September is clearing the way to better health in aging. And to help older adults stay motivated and find new, exciting ways to get moving, the International Council on Active Aging kicks off Active Aging Week September 24, 2017.
The event is designed to help adults over 50 live life to its fullest and promote a more active lifestyle that improves health as well as emotional, social and spiritual well being. This year’s Active Aging Week’s theme is “Ignite Your Passion” and events are planned in partnership with local retirement communities, health clubs, recreation centers, social clubs and government departments to help seniors more fully engage in their communities and in their own lives.
Lack of activity in older age contributes to many chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension. Regular exercise can curb weight gain, help prevent falls, reduce depression, improve cognitive function, increase bone density and improve sleep. And by maintaining muscle strength, older adults can remain independent longer and increase life expectancy, even in seniors who didn’t start exercising until the age of 75.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults over the age of 65 should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate activity like brisk walking each week. In addition, to preserve function and prevent muscle loss, older adults need to do strength training at least twice a week. For tips on making physical activity part of daily life as you age, visit the CDC website here.
Countries participating in Active Aging Week include Canada, the United States, Australia, India and Ireland and last year more than 3,000 organizations hosted events to promote healthier, more active lifestyles for adults over the age of 50. Whether it’s a free yoga class or a seminar on healthy eating, the ICAA has resources your group can use to get an event off the ground. To learn more or to register a host site, follow this link to the Active Aging website.