It’s summer and nature is calling, urging all of us to take our fitness and activity programs outside. Research on why outdoor exercise is better than indoor exercise is building: a 2012 study of adults 66 or older found that participants who exercised outdoors (usually walking), completed, on average, about 30 minutes more exercise than those who worked indoors.
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Canada, and two thirds of strokes occur among people over 65. Your risk of stroke can be greatly reduced through healthy lifestyle habits including not smoking, being physically active, managing stress and healthy eating. Recognizing the five warning signs of stroke and getting rapid treatment can prevent or limit disability from a stroke.
About 70% of men’s health problems are preventable by making small changes to health habits. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. A diet high in vegetables and low in fat and charred or processed meats can reduce prostate cancer risks. Men are more prone to develop abdominal fat, which raises the risk for many illnesses, but good nutrition and exercise can shrink the belly and health risks.
Being physically active each day helps older adults improve balance, reduces falls, and helps prevent many chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Experts recommend 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, and muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week. Walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, carrying groceries, gardening and yoga are among the many activities you can choose from to maintain flexibility, strength and aerobic fitness.
More than 4.6 million Canadians are living with arthritis, with 43% of those individuals being 65+. Research shows that some modifiable risk factors, such as not being active, poor diet and excess weight, contribute to or worsen arthritis. Regular exercise, healthy eating and maintaining a healthy body weight can help reduce pain, improve mobility and enhance quality of life for people with arthritis.
There’s a reason why knitting has been around since 1000 AD—knitters not only produce warm items of clothing, but also receive a host of other surprising health and wellness benefits. Creative pursuits like crocheting, quilting, sewing and knitting are no longer just considered “busy work,” but are now being touted as hobbies that can make you happier and healthier at any age.
Spring is here and many of us may feel an urge to grow something green. If you don’t have a garden to tend at your house, condo or even retirement community, there are still options at your disposal. Indoor “air plants” are a hot trend in the houseplant world, and, as research has proven, growing them can offer a host of health benefits, from a more positive outlook to improved breathing.
About half of older adults complain about sleep problems, which can potentially affect your health and daily functioning. Although certain age-related changes in sleep are normal, it’s important to identify and treat common underlying causes of sleep problems like obstructive sleep apnea, pain conditions and depression. Practicing good “sleep hygiene” by being active, getting sunlight exposure and reducing stress before bedtime can help you sleep more soundly.
At 74 years old, it took Anne only 37:05 minutes to climb the CN Tower’s 1,776 steps to the top—what works out to be 144 flights of stairs! “I’m proud I beat 38 minutes, which was my time last year,” says the Chartwell Montgomery Village resident.
The key to good health and longevity for seniors is not a mythical Fountain of Youth, but the good habits identified by today’s scientists. Research shows that healthy lifestyles are more influential than genes in helping older adults stay youthful and live longer. Staying socially connected, being physically active, thinking positively, and exercising your brain through lifelong learning can help you to maintain optimal health and quality of life.