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