April 28, 2011

USA: Seniors Embracing An Active Lifestyle

SAN FRANCISCO, California / Technorati / Women / April 28, 2011

By Mandy Quebedeaux

Remember the quiet senior citizens that spent their days in the garden? The Grandmothers that would stay indoors reading, maintaining the house, and having supper ready at 3:30 p.m.?

Today, many seniors have seemed to have traded in their hoes and high socks for new and improved dancing shoes. More and more retirement aged people have begun to embrace a fulfilling, active lifestyle. They have become computer-savvy adventurists that are now better at playing "Call of Duty" than their grand children. That can also outrun them in a 10k marathon.

This new senior citizen lifestyle seems to be working out in their favor. Studies show that the elderly are living longer, stronger, happier lives and enjoying every minute of it! So what kind of activities are they getting into?

Active seniors are participating in: Motorcycles, Video Games, Dancing (which is amazing by the way), Dating, College courses, Marathon running, Euro travel, and SkyDiving. That is just the beginning of the list!

So, what are the experts saying about this "new aged" baby boomer?

Basically, the majority of doctors seem to agree that the benefits are overwhelming. However; seniors need to keep in mind that, like anyone, there are always risks involved. So, steering clear of high risk activities, such as unsafe sex practices, should be avoided.

Researchers at Rush University in Chicago came to a conclusion after examining 954 elderly people with the average age of 82. "Social activity has long been recognized as an essential component of healthy aging, but now we have strong evidence that it is also related to better everyday functioning and less disability in old age," lead researcher Bryan James, postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology of aging and dementia at Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, said in a university news release.

Not only do the seniors live a happier life, but they are enjoying some of the financial perks also. Healthcare costs are rising especially for the older generations. A healthy lifestyle decreases these costs in several ways. With gas prices soaring, a trip to the doctor twice a month quickly adds up. Not to mention the examination, prescription, diagnostics, and therapy costs. The financial savings are potentially massive. Not just for the senior's pocketbook but the relief is felt within the Medicare system. The impending cost to provide Alzheimer's patients Medicare could rise to $49.3 billion dollars. With seniors become more active, these numbers would decrease dramatically.

According to an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal: A passive lifestyle raises the risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, a still incurable disease of the brain that causes the progressive degeneration of brain cells. The proof is clearly seen with photographs taken of 2 brains. One brain was of an elderly person that was active, the other brain of a Alzheimer's patient.

Senior citizens are already some of the most interesting people in the world. Now, they are out-doing themselves and beginning to show off a little. Granny's got a new lease on life. Let's hope this wonderful trend continues.

I dedicate this article to one very fiesty lady: Marjorie Schulenberg

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