Along with honoring our servicemen and women and celebrating the unofficial start to summer, the last week in May also holds another distinction: the recognition of National Senior Health & Fitness Day.
Through good nutrition and physical activity, seniors can enjoy life as they did in their younger days. Studies show that a good diet in later years helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and cancer, and in managing their signs and symptoms. This contributes to a higher quality of life, enabling older people to maintain their independence. Not to mention the many benefits of exercise: for adults over 50 those include improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density, and better digestive functioning.
This public health initiative is dear to me because I am the caregiver for my mother. While she certainly does not consider herself a senior (she prefers ‘elite’ to senior), it is very important to me that she is mindful of her health and well-being as she enjoys her ‘golden’ years. I often look to her for health and fitness advice. She is a highly-active 60-something and seems to have slowed the effects of aging. She credits her success to:
–Eating a balanced diet
–A strong social network
Above all, maintaining balance and a positive outlook is why she doesn’t see herself slowing down anytime soon. Every day is gift and she vows to live life and enjoy the little things.
I am equally proud of being a part of an organization that values the importance of a healthful lifestyle. Banyan encourages “Creating Change for Good,” which includes promoting health and wellness, supporting our communities, and encouraging each other. Between Banyan’s annual Wellness Challenge and our healthy staff outings, like participating in local 5K run/walks, we actually walk the walk (and run and sprint it, too).
I hope to be half as active as my mother is when I’m an ‘elite’ one day. Between the example she sets and the opportunities Banyan provides, I’m in great shape (pun intended).