Let’s Celebrate National Senior Health & Fitness Day®
For Informational Purposes Only
May 31, 2017, is the 24th annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day®.The common goal for this day: to help keep older Americans healthy and fit.
Between 2014 and 2050, the world population over 60 years of age will nearly double from 12% to 22%.
This year the theme of World Health Day by the WHO (Word Health Organization) was depression.
Approximately 15% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental disorder.
The definition of depression according to the WHO:
Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
Depressed individuals experience changes in appetite, sleeping, anxiety, concentration, guilt or hopelessness. They normally have physical and psychological events that may trigger it such as the loss of a partner, chronic pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, mobility, etc.
Depression can Happen to Anyone!
Depression should not be considered a sign of weakness as it happens at all ages, to both women and men, and to people of any social status. Life changes can lead to depression. Depression is common in older people, but unfortunately, it is often overlooked and untreated.
When dealing with depression, there are preventive measures to implement and then, if depression is identified, to treat it.
The information offered here is not medical advice and is not intended to replace guidance offered by your doctor. If you believe that you, or anyone you know, is suffering from depression, consult a medical professional right away.
How to Combat Depression
Many seniors have acknowledged the therapeutic effects of watering plants and gardening.
Walking is another easy, accessible activity; short walks every day can help reduce depression levels.
Preventive healthcare and engaging in social activity are both important to treat this illness as well as manage any chronic illness.
Seniors can focus on those activities that are accessible to them, and concentrate on enjoying them to the fullest while performing them. Embrace that mindfulness we’re always hearing about to fight depression!
The barriers to exercise can be either mental or physical, but there are methods to serve as baby steps toward a broader routine at home or with a group of friends.
The use of devices that help prevent atrophy while in a seated position have increased even with the arrival of so-called activity-based video games or “exer-games”. You can bowl or even play tennis or soccer with a wave of your hand!
Mobility-challenged users have said that even if they are in a wheelchair or have limited mobility due to age or an injury or a physical condition would like to do something that is less boring and monotonous.
Nursing homes and assisted living institutions have found that a level of activity that burns calories and increases aerobic activity can be beneficial for stamina and better mood. Nursing homes in other countries have been developing a combination of techniques of yoga and relaxation such as tai chi and chair / wheelchair yoga. These are mostly relaxation exercises enabling the body to be in a state of peace, yet remain flexible avoid atrophy.
Heading Depression Off at the Pass
According to the WHO, there are several ways to head off depression:
- Talk to someone you trust about your feelings
- Seek professional help with your local health provider
- Keep up with activities that you have always enjoyed, or find alternatives if previous activities are no longer possible
- Stay in contact with close relatives and friends who support you
- Get enough sleep
- Follow a regular eating schedule
- Restrict alcohol intake
- Take your meds as prescribed
- Exercise regularly
The Benefits of Physical Activity
According to the CDC, there are benefits to becoming a person of regular physical activity. First, it helps control weight. The more activity, the more calories our bodies burn. It also helps reduce triglycerides as well as increase good cholesterol (HDL); thus it helps mitigate high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and may reduce the incidence of falling. As exercise raises energy in our bodies, our oxygen can flow to our tissues and muscles, helping our cardiovascular system. This all helps us have better sleep and have a more cheerful outlook as various brain chemicals released when exercising bring happiness and relaxation, leading to a better mood.
Always consult your medical professional before starting any new routine.
There are so many ways to combat and treat depression! It is in the hands of caregivers, family members, and seniors themselves to look out for this widespread disorder. Celebrate your favorite senior today!
National Senior Health & Fitness Day®: http://www.fitnessday.com/senior/
World Health Organization World Health Day 2017: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/en/
Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm
Maria Garcia Silva is a Product Manager/ International Marketing Manager at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. The Graham-Field family of brands includes Basic American Medical Products, Everest & Jennings, Grafco, Hausted, John Bunn, Labtron, Lumex and Lumiscope. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 770-368-4700. Everest & Jennings, Graham-Field, and Traveler are trademarks of GF Health Products, Inc. © 2016, GF Health Products, Inc., all rights reserved.