With all this talk about 50 being the new 40 – and 60 the new 50, and so on and so on – it’s easy to get confused about what constitutes typical behavior for older adults these days.
But there’s one thing that health experts, government reps and these so-called “older adults” (they’re not so fond of the term “seniors” anymore) can all agree on: An active, healthy lifestyle is still the best way to ensure you’re around to see the new 60, the new 70 and all the milestones that follow.
So it’s not surprising that members of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management are among the local healthy living advocates who’ve partnered to produce a new DVD aimed at encouraging older adults to stay active. Launched earlier this week at Shaftesbury Park Retirement Residence, the DVDs are the brainchild of Winnipeg in motion co-ordinators Kristine Hayward and Deanna Betteridge, who collaborated with health officials, community groups and countless older adults before getting the project underway.
“We know a lot about the effects of physical activity on health and wellness, but one of the areas where we have difficulty is getting people to do (these activities), even though they know it’s good for them,” said Jane Watkinson, Dean of FKRM, at Monday morning’s launch.
“Your DVD is both a motivational tool and an informational tool for people in the province to learn about – and become excited about – engaging in physical activity.”
Featuring over 45 minutes of endurance, flexibility, strength and balance exercises (plus warm-up and cool-down routines), the in motion Older Adult Exercise DVDs boast two direct connections with FKRM: Instructor Sharon Caldwell led some of the on-camera exercises, while instructor Kyle Turcotte provided script feedback and advised on the appropriateness of certain exercises for older populations.
Shooting took place over three days at Shaftesbury Park, and drew nearly two dozen wildly enthusiastic on-camera participants from both the retirement facility’s population and the larger Winnipeg community. Many of the DVD’s “stars” reunited Monday to toast the project’s success, and to take part in a round of calisthenics along with provincial MLA Kerri Irwin-Ross (Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors) and Anne Skuba, chair of the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults (ALCOA).
“Thank you for not only helping us talk about the importance of physical activity, but for demonstrating it and being role models,” said Dr. Sande Harlos, of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, to the assembled. “When others see this, they will be motivated to say, ‘If these people can do it, I can do it.’ And not just older adults, but everybody.”
To pick up a copy of the DVD, contact ALCOA (at 632-3947 in Winnipeg, 1-866-202-6663 outside Winnipeg, or email@example.com), or download a copy from the Winnipeg in motion website: www.winnipeginmotion.ca.