Every last Friday of May is dedicated to "NATIONAL SENIORS HEALTH AND FITNESS DAY" and this is for the purpose of encouraging our senior population to stay active in some degree even with advancing age. It is also to celebrate those seniors that have continuously prioritize getting healthy and fit everyday.
Have you noticed that our media nowadays love featuring seniors that have made it big or have done a great feat at their late stage in life. Let's start with Former US President George HW Bush who on his 90th birthday successfully skydived. We hear a lot of stories about Seniors and Senior couples who have taken extraordinary feat from our point of view and have kept going to be physically fit and healthy. We see a lot of videos of 90+ grandma or grandpa dancing with the younger ones in family gatherings, TV ads that show an old woman still cycling at age 85+ all around the hilly streets of San Francisco.
There is a lot more stories of these that we do not hear because they are not celebrities; they are just ordinary seniors that are greatly involved in fitness and health. Do you go to the gym for a workout? Try and look around and pin point the oldest person that is present working out with you.
We've had a few clients through the years that have always crave to be healthy and fit. There was this 97-year old retired marine who insist on eating the healthiest food choices everyday and still make himself go out and walk in the morning (exhausting his caregiver more than himself). A couple in their late 80's and early 90's that spend regular time at their country club to exercise together. The husband who plays golf and tennis on designated days with his club friends. The wife that used to be part of the synchronized swimming team in her younger days, still active on the pool swimming with friends. Their spirits are not as competitive as younger ones but it is just basically to keep themselves fit and healthy.
Just lately we have this 95-year old client whom I must say afraid to get older and weaker, that at her age you won't believe how energetic and full of life she is. She still goes out to dinner with friends, exercises, tends to her garden as long as weather permits. Our seniors nowadays are living their life and are living out their generation. They seem to live longer than generations before them and I believe it is because they strive to live healthier - better food choices, a personal decision to stay active, participating in physical activities as much as possible, keeping a positive attitude with life.
The truth is, whether we are caregivers or family members, we should always encourage our Seniors to be active and healthy. As long as their health condition allows and physical safety in mind, they can do whatever physical activity they choose - walking with their crowd, dancing with the girls at zumba, tai chi at the community centers, playing golf, tennis or any other sports. The more active they are the better. Yes, of course, safety is still top priority. We can always remind them to continually assess their capability versus the level of activity they choose to engage with. If the physical activity is resulting in more accidents, then maybe that is the time to re-assess and tone down the level of activity. Restricting and taking away something our senior love and enjoy doing is like giving them a death sentence. If the physical activity gives them more life and determination to go on with life then it is a win win because being active at their advancing age is truly a big bonus.
To all our SENIORS, Stay Active! Stay Fit!
Choose your physical activities wisely. Do not overdo it or it might exhaust you too much.
Do it with a group of Senior friends at the club or community center, it's more fun.
Always check with your doctor if engaging in a specific physical activity (example - gym exercises) is safe for you especially if you have a medical condition.
Keep hydrated during a physical activity. Always keep a bottle of water handy.
Discover what your club or community offers for Senior activities all year round and plan around it.
Physical activities could also be a means to be closer to our family members like with our grandchildren.
Physical activities and getting fit is not just confined to the gym workout, there are a lot of forms and choices nowadays.
Choose the activity that best suit your needs and abilities, from simple ones like walking to rigorous feats of sports like tennis or swimming.
Involve your spouse in the activity. Do it together! It's sweeter!
Engage in some sports with your Senior friends.
Let this Great GrandMa dancing at a family gathering inspire you at 92! Let's stay active and fit, whether we are young, younger or older. Don't wait til i'ts too late to be moving about... Let us celebrate our Seniors and the "National Seniors Health and Fitness Day" with a BANG!!! Go out and MOVE!!! Be active and fit.