Editorial – Active seniors are healthy seniors

Richard Froese

Seniors have made vital roles to build communities throughout Alberta and Canada. They have helped shape communities to what they are today. Their efforts and contributions are being honoured and celebrated during Seniors’ Week June 6-12.
As people reach and live their golden years, many of them strive to stay healthy and connected with others and their community.
Stay active and stay healthy. That includes social, physical, emotional and spiritual.
Seniors’ and golden age clubs are centres of activity for people to socialize, have fun and even make new friends.
People were created to be in community – from a young child to seniors into their 80s, 90s and even over 100.
“Social isolation and loneliness is as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, founder, president and CEO of national seniors’ advocacy organization CanAge.
She was quoted in a story about aging that appeared in the Edmonton Journal on May 31.
“It can also take up to eight years off your life.”
And it affects every part of a seniors’ body, she notes.
“When you are depressed and alone and scared, your body moves into a kind of hibernation and you frankly wither emotionally and physically,” Watt says.
Most older people credit their long life to healthy lifestyles, which included good diet and exercise says the story headlined “A longevity success story”.
Interacting with people in different generations is also beneficial. People who live in seniors’ lodges or continuing care homes absolutely love it when young children visit them.
After two years of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, it’s time for seniors – and people of all ages – to get out, get connected and get active!
Seniors clubs offer a variety of activities and games such as pool, darts, card games, board games, carpet bowling, shuffleboard, floor shuffleboard and floor curling.
Community recreation organizations also offer programs for physical activities.
Human bodies were created to be physically active. Doctors recommend 150 minutes a week [30 each day with weekends off] of physical activity.
Walking is a basic and simple active. Walk with a friend or a group of people and make it a social activity at the same time.
Swimming is another ideal activity. Just ask Howard Greer, of High Prairie, who took swimming lessons for the first time last February at the young age of 90.
Before the lessons, he used a cane to walk. But swimming helped him physically and he doesn’t use a cane.
Dancing is also a good activity to keep the body healthy in a variety of ways.
Seniors have many opportunities to be active to be healthy and can expand their world of friends.
All it takes is the first step.

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