Days after celebrating his 90th birthday, Jack Pirie is adding another accolade to his previous accomplishments. No matter the weather, Jack bundles up to head outdoors with one focus in mind; be as healthy as he can. As the bitter wind bites at his cheeks, he beats a path around his block, only turning back when the walkways aren't properly cleared of snow or ice. Effectively utilizing assistive devices to ensure his balance isn't compromised, daily walks and accompanying indoor exercise routines are a part of Jack's healthy lifestyle.
Exercise builds muscle, improving your strength and balance to combat weakness and frailty that accompany ageing. Building muscle mass and preserving bone density is the number one way to prevent falls and the debilitating consequences.
Even small changes in physical activity will make a real difference in function. There are some great activities out there, Tai Chi is one of the best, having shown reduction in falls by 55% as compared to other balance exercises that typically range between 30-35% reduction in falls. 1 out of every 3 people over the age of 80 suffer from fall related injuries. As the leading cause of hospitalization amongst older adults, falls are not to be taken lightly.
Physical activity among older adults is linked to improved sleep, increased cognitive function, alleviate symptoms of chronic illness such as Arthritis, boosts your mood and an over all improvement in longevity.
Fatigue, aches and pains are common barriers to getting and staying active; if you need a bit of inspiration as motivation to embark on new challenges, look no further. Jack has fought his own battles with debilitating illness, cancer and depression hit hard at Jack's door. Admirably, just after his monumental 90th birthday he is still fighting back to maintain his independence.
Be your own Healthy Hero! Inspire others by sharing your own activity or routine to be next months healthy hero.