Come on all you seniors, get happy and healthy

If you are a senior living in Massachusetts, Colorado or New Jersey you are likely to be physically active or, at least, searching the internet for fitness advice. New research by the online consumer price-tracking website, Pricelisto, has identified the citizens of those three states as having the highest average monthly search for fitness advice over the last 12 months.

That’s a good thing, according to the Centers for Disease Control which recommends that the older you get the more you need to exercise.

According to the CDC, “Adults aged 65 and older need at least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, five days a week) of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking.  Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or runnin.”

“So, get up and get active,” said Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens. “Sure, you’ll find some older folks who might prefer to sit out their senior years, but, for the most part, the elders among us — and there are a lot of them — choose ‘not to go gently into that good night,’ as poet Dylan Thomas put it.”

She’s not suggesting that we run the 4-minute mile; rather, Weber said that moderate exercise will help you live a longer and more fulfilling life in your senior years.

“Ask your doctor for exercise advice,” she said. You’ll probably be surprised how easy it can be. Simple, brisk walks, for example, might be all you need to help you live a longer, healthier life.”

Physical Therapist Rachel Tavel and Sabrena Jo, Ph.D., senior director of science and research at the American Council on Exercise, penned a featured article, A Guide To The Best Exercises For Seniors, for Forbes Magazine recently.

As they put it, “When it comes to determining the best exercises for seniors, variety is key. Adults of all ages — but especially people older than 65 — should focus on a combination of strength and mobility exercises, as well as balance exercises and aerobic activity. However, the best exercises for seniors are the ones they want to do and will do consistently.” They suggest things like taking a stroll, going for a bike ride, even dancing and taking a nature walk for two and a half to five hours a week.

And, by the way, getting out and about as you focus on exercises that make you physically healthier in your golden years has an important additional benefit.

The National Institutes of Health tells us that “exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.”