(NC) Staying active as you grow older is one of the best ways to ward off age-related ailments such as disease, muscle and joint pain and feelings of isolation, depression or anxiety.
Experts have long known about the connection between activity and longevity, and with 2021 census data revealing one in five Canadians is 65 or older, there are a lot of us who could benefit from putting our best foot forward. Your family, and our health-care system, will thank you.
Here are some tips to help you stay active:
Take advantage of everyday opportunities
Listen to your body and find ways to incorporate activity into your routine. You can try taking the stairs more often instead of the elevator, carrying your groceries further to your car or looking for group fitness classes in your community. Many municipalities and community centres offer free or discounted classes for seniors.
Go for cardio and strength
Once you’re up for it, head to the gym to take part in at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity each week. Try using a treadmill, stationary bike, swimming or playing sports. Add muscle and bone strengthening activities at least twice a week using appropriate resistance such as light weights or bands.
Get out with a buddy
Every step counts so it’s a sound idea to walk whenever and wherever you can. One of the best ways to stick to a walking routine is to go with someone else. Many people also do best with a dog by their side. Dogs of all shapes and sizes need daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically healthy too, so your very own pooch will get you out pounding the pavement regularly.
If you’re thinking of buying or adopting a dog – especially one from abroad – take the time to properly research where you might get the dog from. Ask questions about the dog’s history and health status, what veterinary care they’ve had and what paperwork and health records are provided. Before bringing a dog into Canada from another country, familiarize yourself with the disease risks of that region and ensure you meet the specific import requirements to bring it into Canada.
There’s no right way to stay active as you age, but there are plenty of ideas out there. For some, a furry friend might just be all the motivation you need.
Find more information to make an informed decision about getting a dog at inspection.gc.ca/dog-decision.