Staying Active During Senior Health and Fitness Day

Staying Active During Senior Health and Fitness Day

May 29th, 2024 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day. John Whitney is a physical therapist and a Director of Rehabilitation within Athena Health Care Systems. He is sharing some tips for a healthy lifestyle while in our older years.

Starting to exercise on your own can be scary and expensive. You don’t have to do it alone. Many senior centers offer discounted memberships and classes and many managed care health plans cover gym memberships. You can also find at-home online classes here, available at no cost for adults 65+ through select Medicare plans.

Footwear matters. A good set of shoes can reduce stress through the legs and back by 10%. Over many steps, this adds up. A third of seniors have some form of foot pain or deformity. What you wear matters and orthotics can be a lengthy and costly process. Take advantage of your local running store. Running stores have shoes not sold in common stores and staff that can examine your walking style or listen to your complaints to find the best fit.

Drink water (unless your doctor orders differently). The biggest question has always been ‘How much water?’ The old belief of 8 cups of water is not true. Studies have shown that the proper amount is your weight in ounces divided in half. Drinking less water makes your urine more concentrated. Dark, concentrated urine can irritate your bladder and make urinary frequency, urgency, and leaks worse.

Nutrition is a vital part of health. Eating whole foods, like unprocessed fruits/vegetables is unequivocally the best way to stay healthy. Check for local programs at your senior center or town offices if you need financial assistance purchasing your groceries. Also, make sure to get a list of any foods you should not eat with any new medication or diagnosis. It is best to consult your pharmacist and doctors regarding your diet.

Dementia is a cause of concern for all seniors. Exercise is shown to reduce risk, but also engaging in stimulating activity. Activities can include home-based crosswords, reading, and puzzles. Ideally, it should include activities outside of the home. Alternating activities, particularly new activities, have been clinically proven to reduce the risk of dementia. Opportunities can be found through your local senior center. Seniors have many opportunities for discounted free activities locally. Many museums have senior-free days and low-cost admissions on certain days at theaters.

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May 29, 2024 A Healthier Approach To Caring