New Go4Life campaign focuses on fitness of older adults
A public-private effort led by NIH is reaching out to baby boomers and their parents to encourage physical activity.
Balintfy: Being physically active is vital to maintaining health and independence as we age, and a new federal campaign for people 50 and older will help them to get active and keep going. Dr. Richard Hodes, an institute director at the NIH says the initiative contains research- and evidence-based recommendations and guidance for older men and women.
Hodes: For some time we've been telling people that research shows that various aspects of physical activity do have advantages; now we can go a step beyond for those who are interested in taking advantage of what we know and provide a means and a vehicle and help to initiate and sustain that activity.
Balintfy: The Go4Life campaign encourages sedentary older adults to reap health benefits by making physical activity part of their daily lives. Only 25 percent of people aged 65-74 say they engage in regular physical activity.
Dutta: We recognize that motivation is a problem at any age.
Balintfy: Dr. Chhanda Dutta is a physical activity and exercise expert at the NIH.
Dutta: You have to make exercise a priority in your life. In this fast pace, moving world we live hectic lives and weíre often making tradeoffs. However, I think itís really important, itís an investment in yourself; if you make exercise a priority, youíll be functionally and healthier in the long run.
Balintfy: Experts point out that exercise has specific benefits, including improving heart health, reducing pain from osteoarthritis, and preventing diabetes. U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin adds that getting started can be easy.
Benjamin: You donít have to do strenuous exercise. You don't have to go to the gym, you can just do it right in your home, right where you are in your seat. It's easier if you have your friends and someone with you to start doing something, and you're just going for life. Thatís why itís Go4Life, just to get yourself going, anything to get moving.
Balintfy: Dr. Benjamin says that while she herself is setting an example with Surgeon Generalís walks around the country, physical activity is also a priority for the whole nation.
Benjamin: And this fits right into our overall health and wellness and Go4Life is part of that.
Balintfy: Go4Life resources center on a colorful, interactive website. Itís targeted towards individuals, groups, and health care professionals. The site features specific exercises, success stories, and free materials to motivate a growing number of older people. Dr. Dutta explains that Go4Life also recommends four categories of exercise.
Dutta: You have to work on aerobic exercises, good for your heart. You have to work on your strength, so thereís resistance training. You have to work on your balance and I cannot stress enough the importance of working on your balance especially at any age. And the fourth category is flexibility. And we strongly encourage people to incorporate exercises from each of these four categories into developing their own personal routine.
Balintfy: The Go4Life site also offers online virtual coaches to help motivate participants. For more information on the Go4Life initiative, and to get started and stay active, visit www.nia.nih.gov/Go4Life. This is Joe Balintfy, at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Drs. Richard Hodes, Chhanda Dutta, Regina Benjamin
Topic: fitness, fit, health, physical activity, exercise, older adult, Go4Life
Additional Info: New Go4Life campaign focuses on fitness for older adults