What is Active Aging
The goal of Active Aging is to maintain or even enhance your physical activity levels as you approach senior adulthood. It can be as simple as walking 20-30 minutes a day to attending a group fitness class two to three times per week. Consistency is the key to success in an active aging lifestyle. Choose an activity that you enjoy or change up your physical activity as needed (i.e. swimming in the summer, walking in the spring, indoor group activities in the winter).
Benefits of an Active Aging Lifestyle
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM),
there is growing evidence that regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing numerous chronic conditions and diseases including cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, type II diabetes, and osteoporosis, obesity, colon cancer, breast cancer, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression. In addition, physical activity is recommended as a therapeutic intervention for the treatment and management of many chronic diseases.
That being said, it is not too late to get involved in activities that can enhance, support, and benefit your health. There are plenty of ways that you can get active and stay active for years to come.
How do I Get Started?
Many activities of daily living such as walking, cleaning the house, and gardening are all considered physical activity. However, if you want to start a more structured exercise program, it is important that you consult your physician beforehand. Once your doctor approves, here are a few ways you can get started.
- Go to your local senior center and inquire about group activities that are offered.
- Join a local gym. Ask about personal training services to get you started safely on the right foot.
- Ask your insurance provider what benefits are available to you. Some companies provide free or discounted health club memberships and/or personal training services.
Once you decide what the best fit is for you and you have been properly oriented to the facility, getting involved in group fitness is a great way to bring stability and consistency to an exercise program. There are many fitness classes dedicated to all levels from beginners to seniors. It is here that you will meet others in the Active Aging community and gain the support that will help you on your way to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Power Systems offers some of the equipment that you will see in these classes. Check out these products that you can use to practice some of the exercises you learn in your own home.
Proctor, David N., Ph.D., FACSM, et.al. Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. July 2009. Volume 41 –Issue 7 – pp 1510-1530.