If You Are In Your Golden Age, Stand Up!

outside portrait of an elderly couple walking along a forest road

If you move more throughout a day in your golden age, you have less chance to become physically disabled in future.

I mean that you should not be sitting all day, especially if you are older than 60 years old. In one of the previous articles (Don’t Sit All Day…), I mentioned that that sitting is really bad for your body regardless of the amount of moderate exercises you do daily. This was further confirmed in a recent study.

According to a Northwestern University study, researchers found that if there are two 65 year old women, but one sits 12 hrs. a day and the other sits 13 hrs. a day, then the probability of becoming physically disabled is 50% higher in the latter person even though the difference is only one hour.

A standard recommendation to remedy this is that just standing up whenever you can and walking around more often, but it is not that easy, especially if you are already retired. Sure, we want to enjoy the fruits of our labor after long working years, but even just going to work regularly makes your body move. It is well known that people who retired from their main job, but retook a part-time job, due to need of money or to escape the boredom of a monotonous life, are much healthier than those who stayed home all day.

In short, doing something is really important if you are in your golden years. If you are not interested in working for money, you can do volunteer work for the local charities. Some schools are looking for a helper. There are huge needs for help for those much older. You can find various kinds of volunteer work available in your community by checking on the Internet.

If you don’t want to spend too much time on volunteer work, you can find some physical activities you can do often. My personal preference is dancing. There are so many dance groups around; swing dance, contra dance, Argentine tango, blues, etc. etc. (OK, salsa is good, too, but maybe it is too physical for some of golden age generations).

Many cities have events a few times a week and you can add tons of activities into your daily life while meeting new people. The dance is also known to stimulate your body and brain and keeps you healthily. It also improves the sense of balance and will reduce your chance of falling in your 80s and 90s significantly. There are so many benefits of going dancing!

Finally, but not the last thing, get a dog. Having a pet is known to calm you down and make your less stressful (OK, not always, I admit). However, the benefit of owning a dog is that you need to take your dog out every day, possibly a few times a day. It makes you move around. Probably you won’t take a walk alone if it is too hot or too cold, but if you have a dog, you must and eventually you will love the walk with your dog.

One study done at Florida State University shows that people work out harder at a gym if there is a “gym dog” and they can play with it after their workout. It is because they are looking forward to playing with the dog afterward as a reward. 

Anyway, don’t just sit all day long and watch the TV. There are more things than a square box in this world!

Sedentary Time in U.S. Older Adults Associated With Disability in Activities of Daily Living Independent of Physical Activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2014

Florida State University. “Fitness study pairs dogs with seniors.” Science Daily. Science Daily, 6 February 2014.

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