Archive for May, 2014

Walk to Stay Mobile and Independent

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Regular physical activity and exercise are extremely important for staying healthy, and as we age physical activity and exercise play a key role in staying mobile and independent.

Walking is an everyday activity most people can easily do to stay fit, and usually the only special equipment needed is a pair of walking shoes. A study from the Institute of Aging at the University of Florida indicates that people in their 70s and 80s who regularly walk for exercise are more likely to stay mobile or recover lost mobility than those who stay sedentary.

Walking also helps to maintain healthy weight and blood pressure, it increases muscle strength, flexibility and balance, and it reduces the risk of heart disease, hypertension and falls.

If you are considering taking up walking for exercise the first step is to consult your doctor or physical trainer. They can help you avoid injury and ensure that your walking regime is right for you.

Here are some additional steps to help you stay safe on your walks:

  • Warm up before the walk and cool off afterwards.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear comfortable and supportive footwear with non-skid soles.
  • Choose a path that is familiar, well-lit, even, and free of debris.
  • Hydrate frequently.
  • Pace yourself. Start out on short walks and over time increase the distance.
  • If you need a cane or walker, use it. Be sure it’s sized to your height.
  • Stop or rest if you feel pain during the walk. See your doctor if pain persist after the walk.
  • Carry a cell phone or a Mobile Emergency Button in case of emergencies.
  • Avoid walking in extreme cold or icy conditions. Be vigilant of slippery walkways during wintertime.
  • Walk with friends or in groups.

This guide on fitness for seniors offers more advice on the benefits of exercise and how to safely incorporate a fitness routine into your life.

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100 Centenarians Polled and the Survey Says

Monday, May 12th, 2014

The UnitedHealthcare 100@100 Survey annually polls 100 people who are age 100 or older (centenarians) to gauge their attitudes about their lifestyle and world events. For the 2014 survey, researchers also polled baby boomers (age 65) entering retirement to compare their views with the views of centenarians who have been retired for the last 35 years.

Here are a few illuminating results of the 2014 UnitedHeathcare 100@100 Survey:

  • Centenarians report feeling blessed, happy and surprised about reaching the age of 100, none report feeling sad or burdened.
  • Both centenarians and boomers feel as if they are younger than their age.
  • Over 50% of centenarians live independently and about 25% of baby boomers are caregivers.
  • Centenarians believe convenient household appliances and automobiles are the most significant technological advancements to emerge during their lifetime, while boomers believe it to be the personal computer.
  • 3 out of 4 centenarians report that they do not have access to the internet, while almost 90% of boomers report that they do.
  • The home telephone is the most popular way to connect with friends and family for both centenarians and boomers.
  • Baby boomers are much more likely than centenarians to use cell phones, smartphones or social media.
  • Boomers believe their health will be more difficult to maintain than their social connections.