Solvi­tur Am­bu­lando If you’re movin’, you’re im­provin’

If you’re movin’, you’re im­provin’

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS MARCH 2018 - By Moses Znaimer

FFOR THE LAST 35 years, CARP has been ad­vo­cat­ing for and win­ning leg­isla­tive changes and new fund­ing to im­prove the lives of Cana­di­ans as We Age. The list of im­prove­ments in the lives of older adults, in which CARP has played no small part, is long and im­pres­sive: from a dra­matic re­duc­tion in se­niors’ poverty to ex­panded pen­sion plans, from elim­i­na­tion of manda­tory re­tire­ment to im­proved ac­cess to health care. And we’re go­ing to con­tinue to fight for the health and fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity of our mem­bers by tack­ling crit­i­cal is­sues like elim­i­nat­ing manda­tory RRIF with­drawals and en­sur­ing the safety and dig­nity of those liv­ing in long-term care.

Thus, our work has al­most al­ways fo­cused on what our gov­ern­ments and pol­icy-mak­ers must do for us. But this year, we’re also ask­ing our­selves, in Kennedyesque fash­ion, not only what our gov­ern­ments can do for us but, when it comes to im­prov­ing life as we age, what we can do for our­selves!

That’s why we’ve de­cided that this year one of our top five ad­vo­cacy pri­or­i­ties will be to rouse our own mem­bers and sup­port­ers to be­come an ac­tive part of the so­lu­tion to the wide­spread con­cern about how our so­ci­ety will deal with all the se­niors/ el­ders/old­ers (take your pick!) who will con­verge on our health-care sys­tem over the com­ing decades.

It’s Time for Zoomers to Stand (Sit) Up Straight and Move Our Buns to Pre­serve Our Minds.

One of the best pre­dic­tors of mor­tal­ity is the in­abil­ity to walk 400 me­tres at one go. In a study of 1,155 Ital­ian se­niors aged 65 to 102, the risk of death dur­ing the six-year fol­lowup was three-fold higher for those un­able to com­plete the 400-me­tre walk com­pared with those who com­pleted the test. The slow­est walk­ers had four times the risk of dy­ing com­pared with those in the fastest quar­tile. And it’s not just death but qual­ity of life that is at stake. Nu­mer­ous stud­ies have shown phys­i­cal ex­er­cise to be ben­e­fi­cial in the pre­ven­tion of cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment and de­men­tia.

Ac­cord­ing to the An­nals of In­ter­nal Medicine, Zoomers who reg­u­larly ex­er­cise are less likely to suf­fer a dis­abil­ity and, if they do, tend to re­cover faster. The study looked at 1,600 seden­tary adults aged 70 to 89 over a 3.5 year pe­riod. Mod­er­ate walk­ing was the main phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity for half the group, while the other half at­tended health ed­u­ca­tion classes. Com­pared to the health ed­u­ca­tion group, ex­er­cis­ers were less likely to ex­pe­ri­ence dis­abil­ity in the first place, more likely to re­cover if they did suf­fer a dis­abil­ity and were less likely to have a sub­se­quent dis­abil­ity episode. Th­ese data add to the grow­ing lit­er­a­ture on the ben­e­fits of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and in­di­cate that, in some cases, pre­scrib­ing ex­er­cise for se­niors may be more im­por­tant than pre- scrib­ing med­i­ca­tions.

In 2018, we’ll be work­ing with our chap­ters and the broader Zoomer com­mu­nity to un­leash the power of a lit­tle ex­er­cise to ad­dress what ails you. Mod­er­ate ex­er­cise will help you main­tain weight, re­duce the im­pact of ill­ness and chronic dis­ease, en­hance bal­ance and mo­bil­ity, im­prove sleep, boost mood and self­con­fi­dence – and noth­ing comes close to the ben­e­fi­cial ef­fects of ex­er­cise when it comes to brain health.

So, stay tuned for news about lo­cal CARP walk­ing groups and meet-ups, in­clud­ing Nordic pole walk­ing, and more info on how to take those first steps on your own. 1 No mat­ter your age, 45 or 85, your par­tic­i­pa­tion in this ini­tia­tive will have a di­rect im­pact on the health-care sys­tem and on your own health. And, of course, walk­ing is also syn­ony­mous with think­ing, and a good long walk will give you the time to clear your mind, and the calm to think things out. The Ro­mans un­der­stood this, hence their maxim Solvi­tur Am­bu­lando, a Latin phrase that means “It is solved by walk­ing.”

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AND IF YOU’RE NOT YET A MEM­BER, JOIN­ING CARP, WHICH IS DEAD EASY, IS A GOOD WAY TO BE­GIN. JUST GO TO CARP.CA.

Moses Znaimer, pres­i­dent and CEO of ZoomerMe­dia Ltd., is also pres­i­dent of CARP. AGM at­ten­dees go Us­ing Nordic poles, CARP in Oc­to­ber 2017. for a walk at the Zoomer­plex CARP is a na­tional not-for-profit, non-par­ti­san as­so­ci­a­tion com­mit­ted to ad­vanc­ing the qual­ity of life for Cana­di­ans as they age. To be­come a mem­ber, call 1-800-363-9736 or go to carp.ca.

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