Health: Important for seniors to add more activity to their lives

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National Senior Health and Fitness Day is Wednesday.

It is a nationwide health and fitness event for older adults held the last Wednesday in May during Older Americans Month. The theme this year is “to make a move toward better health.” Many communities celebrate the day with a full agenda of activities for seniors, and in fact the whole family. 

It’s not news that physical activity, including exercise, is good for you. It may even be time to push yourself a little harder, try a new activity, or find new ways to add movement to your daily life.

Frankfort seniors are especially proud of the numerous activities geared toward their generation that occur throughout the year.

Franklin County United Way sponsored last fall’s Kentucky’s Senior Games and is gearing up to host it again this year; Longest Day of Play (LDOP), June 19 this year, and is devoted to promoting regular physical activity for young and old alike.

Organizations showcase various options and opportunities to improve the health and fitness of all ages. The YMCA, Senior Activity Center and several other organizations are available to assist you in becoming more active. The Senior Activity Center’s calendar for the week ahead is elsewhere on this page. Check it out for interesting activities and events.

Physical activity is a great way for older adults to gain substantial health benefits and maintain independence. It is recommended that you develop a physical activity plan, including your reasons, your goals, and the activities you want to perform, when, where and with whom you will be active.

Arthritis is often an excuse used to not move. One of the issues that stands out is the inability of others to understand what life is like with arthritis. Yet, the old adage of “use it or lose it” is so true. Gentle activity initially will expand your range of motion.

Choose activities that are fun, motivate you, and keep you interested in a positive way. Keep your eye on the prize! You will find you have greater ease in doing daily tasks, more energy, improved health and a sense of accomplishment.

We emphasize “movement” vs. “exercise.” This is a great starting point.  Movement could encompass walking, gardening, strength training, flexibility and balance activities. 

One organization that has reached out to the community to assist others with positive movement is Good Shepherd Church and School. Since January, the church has offered movement classes called Active Living Movement, based on Body Recall principles along with a second phase incorporating weight lifting.

These classes meet Monday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the school gym. Classes are adaptable to the abilities of each person. 

Source: Dorothy Schroeder, Franklin County Mobilizing for Action Through Planning a Partnership member and community volunteer.

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