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Longevity Needs Oomph

Longevity is new to most people.  We may have occasionally heard of a person who lived to be one hundred, but not often.  That is changing. According to Canadian population statistics, the second largest growing age group is those living to 100 years of age or more. Now that longevity is a real possibility, perhaps even an expectation for us, we need to know how to make these additional years fulfilling.  While aging may bring on chronic diseases, most are manageable; they may slow us down but they can’t defeat us.

The importance of activity is the message consistent in articles written by The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Diabetes Associations and Arthritis Associations as well as, in articles published in The Lancet (British) and the American Journal of Geriatric Medicine.  Arthritis Associations advise that activity reduces pain and rigidity. Diabetes Associations state that physical activity and a proper diet can reverse early stages of diabetes and help stabilize the later stages of diabetes.

Activities don’t have to be arduous or time consuming.  Thirty minutes of walking a day is “senior friendly” but be sure to including stretching before and after to keep from muscle strain the next day. Walking poles keep walkers safe and well balanced while exercising upper arms and torso muscles and assisting with posture.  Seniors who are active computer users lose some of their posture while bent over the keyboard beating up the internet and visiting on Skype. They most definitely would benefit from a good walking pole session to regain posture.

Aqua-fit is wonderful for people with arthritis.  Water supports stiff joints and adds firm but gentle resistance to give more ‘bang for the buck’ during all the jogging, stretching and shadow boxing done in the pool.  You have to be there to experience the joy of a group’s laughter when everyone gets mixed up during hand-leg coordination routines. 

Anecdotal reports of keeping brains active by doing Sudoku, crosswords and playing Bridge are good to hear. However, the real power house for brain health is oxygenated blood. Our brains uses 20% of the body’s oxygenated blood and needs it continually. The engine for getting that blood to our brains is the heart.  Hence, the reason why all medical organizations are pushing us to do cardio exercise. We need to get our hearts pumping with some oomph.  

Are you motivated to going from couch potato to cute tomato or macho man?

Here are some starter steps:

Start with chair exercises.  Move on to standing exercises, holding on to a stable support and do some upper body routines. No dumbbells in the house? Use a small can of mixed beans.  After your exercise, you can open the can and make a delicious salad.  On your next shopping trip, buy a larger size can and progress to the next dumbbell weight. 

Listen to upbeat music while working out … Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus or Staying Alive by the Bee Gees will really get you and your heart oomphed!

Excerpted from a larger article entitled The More I Exercise, The Younger I Feel.

Mary Ellen Tomlinson, Director, Senior Care Options Inc
Phone: 416-932-9941

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is offered for general informational and educational purposes only. Opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily In no way are any of the materials presented meant to be a substitute for professional advice nor should it be construed as such.  Senioropolis Inc. has endeavoured to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information contained on this website. However, neither it nor the administrator of the site assumes liability whatsoever for any errors or omissions, nor guarantees the accuracy, of the information herein.

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