Seniors Exercise and Anzac Day
Every year in April around Australia, Seniors week is held to dedicate community events that are more inclusive of our older adults in the community.
During the NSW Seniors Festival celebrated from 13-24 April 2021, our older adults were able to get involved in hundreds of free events that took place across the state, including cooking, fitness and art classes to name a few.
Last week I was lucky enough to be involved in an event that involved 30 participants all over 65 years old in my local community (the average age being 70). The challenge: a three hour Zumba dance without stopping!! Having not taught a Zumba class for nearly ten years I was probably more nervous than them taking the stage.
The rules were if the numbers dropped to below ten, the challenge would be over and we were convinced this may happen around the two hour mark. We could not have been more wrong! At the three hour mark every single participant was still going strong and all with smiles on their faces. The last few songs played and we had the three Zumba instructors and all the staff that had made the event possible on the stage. It was fantastic.
As the cool down song finished (We Are The Champions) the joy in the room was indescribable, I looked around and saw every single person was either dancing or hugging someone, spectators, volunteers, staff and two of the most important people in my life my Mum and Dad included. It brought a tear to my eye. I wasn’t the only one. Everyone in that room were certainly champions on that day.
If you are reading this yourself or you have grandparents or parents who are or becoming sedentary as they get older, please encourage them to become more active in their day to day life. Having your independence as you get older is not only good for you physically but mentally.
Some benefits to exercising are improved immune and digestive functioning, better blood pressure and bone density, and have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and osteoporosis. It will also improve your mobility, flexibility and balance.
There are many activities in your community that accommodates older adults with staying active and healthy and have a great social network. So grab those runners and get moving today. It’s never too late to start.
Today also marks Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance that commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
‘Lest we forget’