Seniors Keep Active with Go4Life

On October 19, the National Institute on Aging marked the one-year anniversary of launching its Go4Life campaign, which encourages older people to incorporate activity and exercise in their everyday lives. And they also provide a handy Spanish-language tip sheet!

Exercise has been proven to enhance quality of life. To that end, the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA) partnered with the NIA to provide a site to help seniors stay active.

The site covers the four types of exercise: Endurance, Strength, Balance and Flexibility.

Also known as aerobic exercise, endurance exercises help keep heart disease and diabetes at bay. This type of exercise includes:
  • Brisk walking or jogging
  • Yard work (mowing, raking, digging)
  • Dancing Swimming Biking
  • Climbing stairs or hills
  • Playing tennis
  • Playing basketball
Lifting weights, even light weights, is the best way to build muscle and develop strength.

Exercises such as Tai Chi help promote balance and prevent potential falls.

Yoga is a perfect example of an activity that stretches your muscles and keeps you limber.

Free tools like their Exercise Audiobook, Tip Sheet (which includes Activities by Season, nutrition information and and free tracking tools) and answers to common exercise questions are designed to get even the most sedentary of older adults up and moving for their health. There is also a Workout to Go routine — a portable downloadable booklet with 13 easy-to-follow strength, balance, and flexibility exercises.

The site also features video success stories, from seniors like Tony L., 71, who lives along Chicago’s lakefront and rode over 7,100 miles on his bike last year, to Charlie E, 93, 2012 Gold Medal winner in archery at the Virginia Senior Games. It was his first competition.

The trick to keeping up with any fitness regimen is, of course, to find something you enjoy doing. This will ensure that you do it every day. Of course, before embarking on any exercise routine, especially if one hasn’t exercised in a while, a doctor should be consulted.

In addition to keeping seniors fit, exercise has been known to relieve stress in caregivers. Why not build a buddy system? If you are a senior caregiver, try to build some mild exercise into every home visit. You, as well as your client, will reap the benefits. If you already practice some form of exercise, share your experiences here. We are such proponents of Healthy Aging here at, we encourage you or a senior you love to get out (or stay in) and get moving!


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