June 4, 2007

Keep active at any age - June is Seniors' Month


NEWMARKET – According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian seniors population (65 years and older) will grow and almost double from 3.5 million in 1996, to an estimated 6.9 million by 2021. 


In York Region, seniors represent 15 per cent of the Region’s total population (Statistics Canada 2001) and it is estimated that this percentage will continue to grow as the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation ages.


Although a majority of adults are generally in good health, this percentage drops considerably at age 65 (Statistics Canada).  Only one-half of seniors are regularly active enough to achieve optimal health benefits.    Evidence shows that regular physical activity provides substantial health benefits, including:


·                Reducing the risk for many chronic diseases such as, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers

·                Increasing energy levels, balance, muscle and bone strength, all of which help to reduce the risk of falls and falls-related injuries

·                Decreasing body aches and stress levels


Regular activity is also proven to minimize the effects of the aging process and can help maintain independence later in life. 


Health Canada recommends 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day.  This can be achieved through a variety of activities including walking, gardening, playing golf, bowling, dancing and swimming.  York Region Health Services encourages seniors to get active and use the Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for Older Adults to help choose a variety of activities. Residents should also:


·                Consult a health care professional before starting any physical activity/exercise program

·                Start slow and progressively build up to 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity each day

·                Listen to your body while you are gradually increasing your activity level

·                Choose activities that you enjoy, and make it a social time with your friends


For more information on this or any other health-related topic, please contact York Region Health Services, Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.


For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca


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Media Contact:         Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Health Educator - Media, York Region Health Services

                                 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell:  905 716-2717

                                 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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