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Physical Activity the Key to Healthy Living


October 31st, 2017

National Senior Safety Week. 
November 6 - 12, 2017 - 

Thoughts of reduced stress and activity levels go hand in hand with the idea
of retirement, whether the job you're leaving has been interesting,
motivating, dull or mind numbing. A lifetime of hard work and perseverance
has finally paid off, allowing for a lifestyle that suits you - freedom from
the grind of daily life, freedom to live in a way that speaks to you.

November 6 - 12 is National Senior Safety Week, and the Canada Safety
Council would like to take this opportunity to remind seniors of the
importance of staying active. Too often, retirement leads to a sedentary
lifestyle spurred by a lack of necessity to stay active.

By the Numbers...

According to Statistics Canada, only 13 per cent of men and 11 per cent of
women between 60 and 79 years old met the Canadian Physical Activity
guidelines. These include 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-to-vigorous
intensity aerobic physical activity weekly.  This is achievable with less
than a half hour of daily activity!

And while seniors aren't alone in not meeting these guidelines, they're
certainly one of the most at-risk groups. Regular physical activity can
provide a list of health benefits including strengthened muscles and bones,
enhanced balance and fewer aches and pains from movement.

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend brisk walking and bike
riding as examples of moderate intensity activities, but this category can
also include:
* dancing,
* playing sports,
* going on hikes,
* swimming, and
* working in the garden.

Staying active can take many forms and a motivated individual should have no
problem finding an activity that's enjoyable.

Getting Started

The saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" doesn't apply here - even
an older adult who's had a relatively sedentary life to date will benefit
from heightened physical activity. It's never too late to get started. And
it doesn't have to be daunting, either:
* Take a walk around the block a few times a week.
* Start at a slower, comfortable pace until you're comfortable with
it, and then increase the intensity or duration.
* Don't push yourself too hard. Exercise is only helpful when you're
able to do it. Forcing yourself to be inactive while treating an injury or
strain helps no one.
* If you find yourself unable to participate in certain activities due
to health ailments - joint problems, for instance, or arthritis - consult
with a physician who can help determine what exercise will work for your
specific needs.
* If you're homebound, there are still ways to stay active. Walk or
march on the spot. Get equipment to help you exercise from your bed. Lift
small amounts of weight to keep your upper-body muscles and joints strong.
* If you're unable to meet the 150 minute marker set by the Canadian
Physical Activity Guidelines at first, that's okay! Limited exercise is
better than none at all. Do what you can and what you're comfortable with
until you reach a point where you can meet the guidelines regularly.

Remember, strengthening the body can help avoid future ailments. Strong
joints and bones can reduce the likelihood of falls, fractures and outright
breaks. Take proactive steps to mitigate these health concerns before they
become a reality, and you'll find a much higher quality of life waiting for
you.

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For more information, please contact:
Raynald Marchand
 <mailto:raynald.marchand@safety-council.org> General Manager, Canada Safety
Council
613-739-1535 x226
 

Posted on October 31st, 2017