“Population aging is one of humanity’s greatest triumphs. It is also one of our greatest challenges.”
— World Health Organization
Mark Twain once said:
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”
We are fortunate to live in a time when delicious fresh foods are readily available, clean drinking water comes from our taps and walking is a recreational sport.
Why does everyone keep talking about keeping active as we get older? Because if we don’t use it, we will lose it; that’s a fact.
What is active aging and why should we buy into this proposition?
I did a little research to find out what folks think it is, and what can we do to be a part of this movement.
This is what I found out:
The Government of British Columbia on active aging:
Populations around the world are getting older. By 2031, almost one in four people in B.C. (that’s more than 1.3 million people) will be over the age of 65.
“The evidence is clear. Older adults can live longer, healthier lives by staying socially connected, increasing their levels of physical activity, eating in a healthy way, taking steps to minimize their risks for falls, and refraining from smoking.”
— Healthy Aging in Canada: A New Vision, A Vital Investment
Active aging is about more than physical activity. Active aging also means being involved in your community and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Staying active as you age can help you be healthier, happier, and more independent.
What You Can Do
The decisions we make every day affect how we age.
Only about 30 per cent of the way you age can be explained by biology and genetics. You can do many things to avoid illness, disability, and loss of independence as you grow older.
This website may give you some ideas, and help you make lifestyle choices for a longer, healthier life, and reduce your risk of chronic disease and disability.
Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.”
— Edward Smith-Stanley (1752-1834), English statesman, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Edward Smith-Stanley appears to be right.
The Canadian Centre for Active Aging says …
Presently, Canadians have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. On average, a 65-year-old man can expect to live another 17 years and a 65-year-old woman can expect to live an additional 21 years. 13 of those years will be in good health but 4-8 will be in poor health.
While I was watching the “Physical Activity and Aging in Canada” Video Series, it made me consider changes I could make now that would influence my life and well-being in the future.
These videos make the case for the importance of physical activity in minimizing chronic disease and maximizing quality of life as we age.
Listening to fitness experts and talking to students in my classes, the general consensus to begin our active aging life is “just get started”.
As a certified Seniors’ Fitness Instructor, I have worked with people from 55 to 95. These people have inspired me to live my adventure and continue to work on my passion for helping seniors to keep moving.
Celebrate Active Aging week with Me
Join us in any one of our free senior’s fitness and activity programs listed on our activity calendar.
To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
— Buddha (c. 563 BC to 483 BC)
If you are ready to start your active aging life or looking to restructure your existing one, consider these things: keep it simple, don’t make unrealistic goals, and have fun.
The secret to good health is: there is no secret; Buddha has been talking about it for years.
Tammy Watson – Director
Regardless of our age or health conditions, adults over 50 years of age can live as fully as possible in all areas of life—physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational and environmental.
At HOMEcare WEST, we consistently encourage healthier, more active lifestyles by providing you with opportunities to experience wellness activities and exercises in safe, supportive environments.
Join us for our weekly exercise events:
- Seniors Yoga on Mondays at St. Martins Anglican Church
- Chair Exercises on Wednesdays at St. Martins Anglican Church
- Nordic Walking for Seniors on Thursdays at Oakridge Seniors Center
There will be refreshments and time for socializing at the end of each event. Get out, get moving, and get healthy!
About Active Aging Week
Started in 2003 by the International Council on Active Aging© (ICAA), Active Aging Week is a week-long campaign to celebrate the positivity of aging today. It showcases the capabilities of older adults as fully participating members of society and spotlights the role models that lead the way.
About HOMEcare WEST
HOMEcare WEST is a member of the International Council on Active Aging© (ICAA), and a host of Active Aging Week events.