by Shirley Brown, MiCafe Community Partner Engagement Specialist
Living an active lifestyle is the gift that just keeps on giving. Seniors 60+ who engage in regular leisure time activity increase their life expectancy, and look incredible. Seniors must build a strong physical, nutritional and mental fitness base so that they can remain strong and independent. It is imperative that you take care of yourselves regardless of age.
Physical activity all by itself is a powerful tool to improve your health. However, adding healthy nutrition from fresh fruits and vegetables ramps up the whole effect and helps seniors to achieve a healthier body composition. Many Senior’s relate physical activity with weight loss. It is not a matter of how much you weigh, but how to start an active lifestyle at whatever weight and age you are. It is never too late to begin to improve your physical health. Pay more attention to yourself and enjoy moving your body and marvel in this health and fitness adventure. It has been studied that a 20 minute walk done at a brisk pace makes a huge difference in health, and longevity.
Don’t be discouraged at the young and fit in the gyms and at the parks, instead show up and show out for comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation. Most people will admire and encourage you, seeing that you are determined to stay strong and independent. It is also important to have a good support system; so assemble a wonderful team of friends and family for motivation.
The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) is a nonprofit member of the United States Olympic Committee that promotes health and wellness for adults 50 and over. “NSGA governs the biennial National Senior Games and sanctions member state organizations across the country that host Senior Games or Senior Olympics to provide seniors with quality sports activity.” Michigan is very active with Michigan Senior Olympics.
Even if you don’t want to participate in organized sports, please get up, get out, and get active in some way. I’m encouraging seniors to become more physically active and to make it a central part of their lives; if only for preventive and therapeutic value.