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This is the seventh post in Peconic Landing’s community educational series about retirement. View the other posts HERE.
Aging isn’t an invitation to simply kick back and relax. That’s because our brain, our muscles, everything, works better when we move.
“People are always looking for some magical pill to keep them healthy, but people do not understand that moving is magic,” said Dr. Roger Landry, a preventive medicine physician who strives to help Americans age successfully. “It is very critical that people understand that movement is the very foundation of health and aging in a better way.”
If you start moving, you will find you will be in the mood to learn more, to participate in activities and even have a better outlook on life. Making a change isn’t as tough as it seems as physical activity need not be strenuous to achieve health benefits.
It could be as simple as getting a pedometer and counting your steps daily for a week, said Dr. Landry. “Then make a commitment to add a little bit each day. Do it in very small bits.”
Starting out slow, yet strong, can help to ensure success, said Carmine Arpaia, Peconic Landing’s lead trainer.
Older adults can benefit from daily moderate-intensity physical activity; and moderately intense activities include simple tasks like walking or cleaning around the house.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need just two hours and 30 minutes (or 150 minutes) of relatively moderate-intensity each week to receive substantial health benefits.
“The trick is to keep moving, in whatever ways work for you,” Carmine said. “Don’t limit yourself.”
Carmine works with residents to create unique wellness plans catered to their lifestyle, figuring out how best to keep members moving in ways they will enjoy.
This means you don’t have to attend a fitness class to get your daily fix of activity, said Dr. Landry. Participating in groups and activities can also do the trick, such as volunteering at a local hospital or animal shelter or leading a group at a local church.
Studies show that physical activity also helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters enhanced feelings of well-being. When feeling well, seniors are more likely to stay active and engaged, taking part in social events and activities.
“You begin to feel so much better and so many magical things happen when you’re feeling better,” Dr. Landry said.
To learn more about how to live an active lifestyle visit the Peconic Landing website.
Be sure to visit us next month for the next post in Peconic Landing’s community education series about retirement: What is LifeCare?