Did you know that there is an intervention that can:
- Relieve knee arthritis pain by 47%
- Slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia by 50%
- Help reduce the progression of diabetes by 58%
- Lessen anxiety by 48%
- Relieve depression by 30%
This intervention reduces fatigue, provides endless health benefits, and lowers your risk of death. It also helps you maintain white brain matter, which is responsible for critical thinking and planning. It is something that makes the biggest difference to your health.
The intervention is … 30 minutes of physical activity a day!
Regular physical activity – including endurance, muscle-strengthening, balance, and flexibility exercises – is essential for healthy aging.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. The best gift you can give yourself is spending just 30 minutes of those 24 hours being active. You do not need to do strenuous or intense workouts. Walking, chair aerobics, biking, swimming, or dancing are just a few of the ways to improve your overall health.
Engage in life: Being active doesn’t have to feel like a chore. The most important thing is that you do something! To help get you moving, consider breaking up your daily activity into 10 minute increments.
Here are a few resources to help increase your daily physical activity:
- Silver Sneakers is a program that provides fitness classes online or at local gyms at no cost for adults 65+ through select Medicare plans (Medicare gap and Medicare Advantage plans). Consult your specific plan to see if Silver Sneakers is covered. Many York County fitness and community centers honor the Silver Sneakers program.
- York County Senior Centers offer adults age 60+ a wide variety of free or low-cost, in-person and virtual exercise classes for all fitness levels. Some centers even offer Pickleball and dance classes. (Note: meals are available for a donation; rabbittransit provides free transportation to/from the centers for adults age 65+)
- York County Senior Games is a sports competition for adults age 50 and older. A multi-sport event that typically takes place every June, events include basketball, bocce ball, bowling, running, Pickleball, and more. This is a terrific opportunity to be active and meet others.
- Visit the Happy Trails Nature Park, designed specifically for older adults. The park features a paved, wide walking path in a figure eight with benches, picnic tables, and serene nature. It is open to the public and offers special programs for older adults.
Beyond these programs, a great strategy for adding more activity into your daily routine is to connect it to something you already do:
- March in place while brushing your teeth
- Dance to a favorite song after eating breakfast
- Do knee bends before going to bed
- If you have stairs, go up and down them an extra time whenever you use them
- When watching TV, use hand weights to build arm strength and walk around the room during commercials
- Do heel raises while doing the dishes
- Park your car further away while shopping or purposely go up and down each aisle in the store
Find the joy: Exercise turns on the brain, so get creative and make moving fun!
Make certain to consult your primary care physician about your plans to be active.
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