Senior Health & Fitness Day
Is your community ready to celebrate Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 25? If so, congratulations on taking part in the country’s biggest health and fitness event for seniors. If not, what are you waiting for? Your residents will benefit from getting into the habit of regular exercise and health screenings, and your community can thrive if you support these goals.
An ongoing need for regular exercise
Americans don’t exercise as much as we should, experts say, but as we age, regular exercise is crucial to maintaining overall good health. For adults age 65 and older, the Centers for Disease Control recommends a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and 2 strength-training workouts each week. Even better for people in this age group is 75 minute of vigorous aerobic activity and 2 or more days per week of strength-training exercises, according to the CDC.
The National Institutes of Health’s SeniorHealth site lists some of the perks of regular exercise for seniors. They include:
- better balance, which can reduce the risk of falls
- better flexibility for daily tasks like getting dressed and checking blind spots while driving
- more endurance for romping with grandkids, playing a sport, or tackling chores around the home
Regular exercise can also help people delay, avoid, or reduce the severity of heart disease, diabetes, bone density loss and other health issues related to aging. A fitness habit can also cut seniors’ stress levels and boost their overall mood.
A way to kick-start health habits in your community
2016 marks Senior Health & Fitness Day’s 23rd year promoting regular exercise and health screenings. It’s a good occasion to show current exercisers some new options and to get people who usually “take it easy” up and moving. The Mature Market Resource Center, which coordinates the event nationwide, expects more than 100,000 older adults to take part in next week’s events at about a thousand locations around the country, including senior living communities, community centers, worship centers, YMCA locations and other public and private spaces.
Typical Senior Health & Fitness Day activities are low-impact and non-competitive – perfect for making exercise an enjoyable social habit. During previous years, some locations have offered chair aerobics, group walks, gym-class style games, and even a flash mob of seniors who surprised mall shoppers in Tampa with a dance routine. Many Senior Health & Fitness Day locations partner with local health professionals and agencies to offer free blood pressure and heart rate screenings and hand out information about local fitness and healthcare options.
You still have a little time to put together an event for your community this year, and plenty of time to plan for 2017. To get going, register online at the National Senior Health & Fitness Day website. The cost is $30, and registration gives you immediate online access to printable event logos and health information to share with your residents, press releases you can send to media outlets in your area, and the option to buy posters, t-shirts, tote bags and other items with the event’s logo. Most importantly, registrants get access to activity ideas that are designed to be safe, engaging, fun, and healthy – something that can help your residents live better year-round.