Preparing for National Senior Health and Fitness Day
On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, an estimated 100,000 older adults will participate in local fitness activities throughout the country as part of the 20th annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day, the nation’s largest health promotion event for older adults. Hospital for Special Surgery’s Greenberg Academy for Successful Aging is proud to be a New York City host for this important day. Our offerings will include lectures on Falls Prevention, Emergency Preparedness and Medication Management as well as samplings of our regular exercise classes including Dance for Fitness & Fun and Chair & Low Impact exercises.
WE’RE GETTING OLDER!
The growth in the number and proportion of older adults is unprecedented in the history of the United States. With many Americans now living into their 70s, 80s, and beyond, two factors—longer life spans and aging baby boomers—will combine to double the population of Americans aged 65 years or older during the next 25 years to over 70 million. By 2030, older adults are expected to account for roughly 20% of the U.S. population (CDC).
With Americans living longer, chronic conditions and diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes have become the leading causes of impaired mobility among older adults. While we cannot control our genetic predispositions towards these diseases, we can take control of 2 factors to increase our quality of life, no matter what condition we are in: Nutrition and Exercise.
Physical activity is beneficial for people of all ages.
Studies have shown that exercise and physical activity may:
- Lower your risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes among others
- Improve your strength and balance and ability to perform daily tasks
- Reduce symptoms of depression
- Improve your ability to think, learn and make decisions and improve mood and overall well-being.
WHAT KIND OF EXERCISES ARE BEST?
There are so many ways to be active! Whether you are dancing to your favorite tunes while vacuuming or brisk walking doing your grocery shopping, most activities can be done on your own time and are free! You can also find an exercise class at a local library or senior center or rent an exercise video. Find an activity that suits your lifestyle and budget. Experts recommend 30 minutes of such exercises per day 5 days per week.
The Public & Patient Education Department tries to motivate older adults to become more physically active, return to exercises after a fall, and safely build more exercise and physical activity into one’s daily routines. We also offer free health care lectures pertaining to musculoskeletal and other chronic issues, pain, workshops on coping with anxiety and depression, posture, as well as exercise classes such as Better Balance for Older Adults and Yoga for Wellness. For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, please visit https://www.hss.edu/pped.
Linda Roberts, LCSW, is the program coordinator for the Greenberg Academy for Successful Aging at Hospital for Special Surgery. She received her degree at the University of Toronto and her post-graduate certification at the Ackerman Institute for the Family of New York City.