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What's Up Magazine

Never Too Old to Play

May 02, 2012 08:08PM ● By Anonymous

The May 2012 theme for Older Americans Month is, Never Too Old to Play. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, the month-long event salutes the contributions of Americans in the 65+ age category. The theme also encourages older Americans to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Americans are living longer,” said Vivienne Halpern, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “The average life expectancy is 83 years of age. More than 39.6 million Americans are over age 65. By comparison, there were just 17 million Americans over age 65 when President Kennedy created Older Americans Month in 1963. Back then, the average life expectancy was just 69.9 years.”

The ensuing 49 years has challenged Baby Boomers to remain active. “Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each day is vital,” said Dr. Halpern. “Physical activity can help guard against the three leading causes of death today - heart disease, cancer, and stroke.”

Physical activity can:

Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Lower blood pressure
Improve cholesterol levels
Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes by helping to control glucose levels
Reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer
Strengthen bones and muscles
Keep thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp
Maintain a healthy weight
“A 30 minute walk each day, a bike ride, swimming, a round of golf, or playing with grandkids are activities that can keep the heart pumping for years to come,” said Dr. Halpern.

For information on physical activity and vascular health, log onto: www.VascularWeb.org.