Warmer weather means it’s time to move more

With the weather turning, I have started to see the faces in my neighborhood that I have missed all winter long.

Starting to prepare their garden spaces, walking the dogs, and just enjoying the sun. What I am really seeing is movement! This movement makes your daily life better. When you are active and strong, it makes it easier to do everyday tasks like chores and shopping, keep up with your grandkids; and stay independent, as you get older. Other big health benefits of physical activity include less pain, a better mood, and decreased risk of chronic disease.

Physical activity looks different for each of us. The one thing that is the same is how much we need. The Institute of Medicine recommends about 30 minutes most days of the week with two of those days doing muscle-strengthening activities.

All sorts of activities count including the things you have to do anyway, like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, vacuuming, raking, and taking the dog for a walk. Even things that we enjoy so much they do not feel like exercise count, like dancing!

There are four types of physical activity: cardio-respiratory, musculo-skeletal, balance, and flexibility. Each of these keep us healthy and strong by focusing on different parts of the body with different movements. For example, dancing will increase blood flow and movement of oxygen through the body. This benefits our heart and lung systems by making them stronger. Weight-training, even with cans of soup, help to maintain your muscle mass as you get older. Yoga and Tai Chi classes can help you with balance and flexibility to decrease risk of falls. Flexibility really helps you improve your range of motion.

The most important thing to remember is that you can get more active. It does not matter your age, you can find a way that works for you. Move your way.

We know the healthy choice is not always the easiest choice, but small changes can make a big difference.

Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Dietitian, Carey Skelton RDN is available for nutrition education through SNAP-ed programs. The SNAP-ed programs are FREE for those who receive or qualify for SNAP benefits. We want to help you save time, save money, and eat healthy! Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Senior Nutrition Program also provides nutritious meals through Home Delivered Meals and the Dining Out Program throughout the county. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Please remember to contribute toward your OFAS nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable without the support of participant and community contributions. Be aware that SNAP benefits can be used toward your contribution. Call NY Connects at 716-453-4582 for more details and information about any of these Nutrition and Wellness programs provided by Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services.


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