How To Achieve Life Long Fitness

          The typical decline associated with aging is at least 50% due to becoming less active with age.  According to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, a physically active lifestyle can add 10 – 15 years to one’s live span.  Due to the advancements in medicine, Americans now live longer.  However, technology and computers have led to an increased sedentary lifestyles and increased risk for chronic health and mobility problems.  It is becoming increasingly important to address physical decline due to disease or disuse, and to modify it with proper assessment and activity interventions.  The goal of life long fitness is to focus on maintaining the ability to continue to do the things one wants and needs to do; by staying strong, active and independent.
          What does it take?  The answer varies based on age, gender and lifestyle.  Very few careers or household activities provide the recommended amount of energy expenditure to meet the requirements for good health.  (Especially now that there are modern conveniences such as on-line shopping and remote controls)  First, it is important to find out how you compare to others your age.  Age-specific fitness assessments have been recently developed and standardized by Rikli and Jones for adults aged 60- 95.  The evaluations are simple and appropriate for a full range of individuals from those de-conditioned to those active or athletic.  The assessments provide objective measurements to allow measurable goals and feedback for those returning to or enhancing their exercise routine,.  Physical attributes evaluated include balance, flexibility, endurance, strength, and body composition.  Carol Penfield, nurse practitioner and owner of Chatham Health & Swim Club, offers these assessments to assist individuals with identifying areas at risk for loss of function or mobility coupled with recommended interventions.  For example, “Do you feel that you have poor balance?”  “How do you know if it is improving or worsening?”  Objective evaluations with episodic re-evaluations can help guide you towards effective interventions to keep you safe and active.  During a 15-minute consultation with Carol Penfield you will obtain a baseline and the opportunity to track your score over time to monitor changes.

          Fitness testing is not just for school-age children and those entering the armed forces.  Learn how you can develop a life-long fitness plan that is appropriate for someone aged 60 – 64, 65 – 69, 70 – 74 etc.  A FREE information session will be held at the Chatham Health & Swim Club on Saturday, September 7th from 11am – 12.  If you are unable to attend, you can book a 15-minute consultation with Carol Penfield NPc, by calling 508-945-3555.  Look ahead, not behind, as your health is worth it!

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