Today is National Senior Health and Fitness Day. While not many people may have heard about it, it is actually in its 29th year. And on this day, over 100,000 seniors participate in a variety of health and wellness activities, along with other types of events held across the country.
The overriding goals of National Senior Health and Fitness Day are to get older Americans out there and help older adults understand the importance of being active at this stage in their lives. Local organizations and companies are also getting involved. They are doing what they can to promote senior health and active senior initiatives.
The activities that we tend to see across the US on National Senior Health and Fitness Day include such things as major walking events, health screenings, informational workshops, and exercise events that are low impact. And as mentioned, companies are getting involved as older Americans comprise a huge population sector. They need to be mindful of their wellness and take care of their physical and mental health.
A Few Facts About Older Americans
Currently, the Baby Boomer generation comprises the bulk of the senior citizen population in America. This generation consists of people born between 1946 and 1964. Baby Boomers make up just over 26% of the people, with the most significant number of this group living in California. Additionally, they make up the most significant number of Internet users, and their primary activities are checking email and searching for various answers. Also, nearly 85% of baby boomers say that they are on Facebook.
Why Fitness is Important to Older Generations
Why have a day dedicated to senior health and fitness? Staying active and getting regular exercise is essential for everybody. But for senior citizens, it is crucial. Some of the benefits of physical activity include:
Science has repeatedly shown that maintaining a physical activity regimen helps stave off certain diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Not to mention, exercise goes a long way toward enhancing the immune system. As people get older, immune systems can get compromised. Even low-impact exercise and physical activity here can be critical.
Improves cognitive function
Studies show that those senior citizens who remain physically active are at a lower risk for dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment. Again, as we age, cognitive function can decline.
Enhances mental health
As we have all seen, mental health needs to be a priority. When you exercise regularly, your body produces endorphins or hormones that help you “feel good.” Exercise also serves as an excellent stress reliever. All of this equates to improved mental health.
A form of social activity
Many older Americans are joining fitness clubs or taking classes to stay fit. This naturally lends itself to creating social bonds and engaging with other people in meaningful and active ways. Versus staying isolated and feeling lonely is an excellent thing.
Getting Involved on National Senior Health and Fitness Day
Whether you are a senior or have a friend or family member who is a senior, making a point to do something specifically for National Senior Health and Fitness Day is essential. Among the activities you might consider:
- Going to a fitness class
- Scheduling an appointment for a health screening
- Volunteering at an event designed to help seniors be active
- Simply taking a walk or going to the park
- Participating in a walkathon or some other fitness events
- Going to physical therapy
There are many things you can do on National Senior Health and Fitness Day to recognize how vital exercise and routine screenings are in the lives of older Americans.
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