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Wednesday, May 29 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day!

Twenty years ago, the nation began celebrating National Senior Health and Fitness Day, which is held on the last Wednesday of May every year during Older Americans' Month. This year, 100,000 older adults will participate in activities at more than 1,000 locations throughout the U.S..

Local organizations throughout the country will host senior-related health and fitness events at retirement communities, health clubs, senior centers, park districts, hospitals, YMCAs, houses of worship, banks and other community locations. The local health and fitness activities will vary widely based on the organization hosting the event and the interests of local seniors. Activities will be non-competitive and may include walking events, low-impact exercises, health screenings and health information workshops.

Regular physical activity is essential for healthy aging. Adults aged 65 years and older gain substantial health benefits from regular physical activity, and these benefits continue to occur throughout their lives. Promoting physical activity for older adults is especially important because this population is the least physically active of any age group.

The benefits of physical activity include:

  • Helping to maintain the ability to live independently and reduces the risk of falling and fracturing bones;
  • Reducing the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and of developing high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes;
  • Helping reduce blood pressure in some people with hypertension;
  • Helping people with chronic, disabling conditions improve their stamina and muscle strength;
  • Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and fosters improvements in mood and feelings of well-being;
  • Helping maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; and
  • Helping control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.

In the meantime, here are some simple health tips from Healthfinder (External Link) that will help keep you aging well:

  • Keep your body and mind active
  • Choose healthy foods
  • Get regular checkups
  • Take steps to prevent accidents

Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, or drastically changing your diet. It is also very important to take an active role in preventing sickness. For information about Medicare's prevention programs and coverage,(External Link) visit Medicare.gov's Preventitive and Screening Services page.

Remember, it's never too late to make healthy changes in your life!

Did You Know?

When you talk fitness and older New Yorkers, you can't leave out the Empire State Senior Games!(External Link) The games are an organized sports and leisure program for those age 50 and older that provide recreational opportunities, encourage fitness as a life-long activity, and promotes the positive image of seniors. This year, the Empire State Senior Games will be held from June 2-8 in Cortland, NY!



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