55+ Adults: Get in Shape - Word&Way

55+ Adults: Get in Shape

Dear Friends: You are never too old to get in shape.” — Senator John Glenn

Frank FainFrank Fain“Many of us are planning to invest our retirement years in making a positive change in society. These plans may include doing mission work, volunteering in church or community, mentoring young people and being the best grandparent the world has ever seen.

Our great plans can be cut short if we do not take care of our body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our aging plan MUST include getting into good physical shape. Can you say “exercise”?

Research is showing that physical inactivity, not aging, is the primary reason so many people experience “inevitable” decline in heath in later years. The lack of physical exercise and poor dietary habits are the second largest cause of death in the U.S.

In our fifties, we should start a physical fitness program. But, we are never too old to start a balanced program to regain lost physical fitness.

We all need to have a medical examination before starting a fitness program. You definitely need a medical exam if you have any of the following factors: a history of heart problems; a close relative who died from a heart attack before age 50; cigarette smoking; diabetes; high blood pressure; high cholesterol levels; hip or knee problems; obesity.

Researchers and physicians have found these benefits to a well-balanced exercise program:

  • Assists in personal weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight
  • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer
  • Combats the decline in brain function and increases cognitive performance skills
  • Improves the body’s resistance to diseases and illness
  • Lowers the potential of falls and broken bones if one does fall
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Provides more energy for daily living
  • Raises the “good” cholesterol while reducing the “bad” cholesterol in our blood system, lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Helps us feel better, look better and enjoy life more

The National Institute of Aging will provide a free book to help us design a well-balance personal fitness program. “Exercise and Physical Activity: Your Every Day Guide From the National Institute on Aging” can be ordered at nih.gov/nia or by calling 1-800-222-2225.

Frank Fain is director of educational services at The Baptist Home in Arcadia Valley, Mo.