Regularly exercise and physical activity are essential to support overall health at any age. The ability to maintain an active lifestyle becomes increasingly important as individuals age. The National Institute on Aging reports that regular physical activity in adulthood can result in many long-term health benefits and reduce the risk of acquiring diseases or disabilities associated with aging, such as arthritis, heart disease or diabetes. Although many individuals understand the benefits of cardio exercises on the lungs and cardiovascular system, weight-resistance training is often considered insignificant. Muscle strength has a major impact an individual’s ability to maintain independence and carry out everyday activities such as climbing stairs or carrying groceries. The Center for Disease Control recommends that adults do 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five days a week and muscle strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups at least two days a week.
UNH is hosting an Age of Champions event on September 25th from 5:30 to 8:00pm to increase awareness for the benefits of physical activity and aging. The event will kick off with a short film honoring the success stories of individuals who have taken this path to health, followed by a discussion on the benefits of active aging. Although this event is focused on improving health in aging adults, students pursuing a career in health science departments would greatly benefit from attending. Professionals in the fields of kinesiology, occupational therapy work directly with individuals to improve their overall health and functioning throughout the aging process. It is essential for students to learn new skills and strategies to assist clients in maintaining physical health through engagement in meaningful physical activities. The event will conclude with a health fair where there will be fitness evaluations provided by the UNH kinesiology department and resources available on recreational and leisure opportunities within the community. There are many ways to be active every day. Find something you enjoy doing and incorporate it into your daily routine to significantly increase your activity level without hitting the gym!