This May, Licking Memorial Health Systems (LMHS) will launch a new goal-oriented program to benefit seniors in Licking County. Active•Senior will promote healthy lifestyles for adults ages 60 and older. The goals of the program are as follows:
• Encourage adults to stay physically fit and maintain a healthy diet.
• Motivate adults to challenge themselves intellectually and stay connected with friends and family.
• Help adults maintain a lifelong commitment to personal health and wellness.
“We continually encourage and support healthy lifestyles for residents in all stages of their lives and Active•Senior will further accomplish our goal of improving the health of the community,” said Rob Montagnese, LMHS President & CEO. “The new Active•Senior program specifically reaches out to an important segment of our community to ensure their physical, mental and social health,” he continued.
The benefits of physical activity for seniors are numerous. Staying active helps maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints as well as helps control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis. Regular exercise lowers the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes. Physical activity also has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and foster improvements in mood and feelings of well-being.
Social contact can be just as effective as exercise at improving mood and quality of life. Staying socially active can help maintain good physical and emotional health as well as cognitive function. Interaction with peers leads to a sharper mind and provides a sense of belonging and connection to the world.
Similar to physical activity, social interaction also leads to health benefits, such as a potentially reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and even some cancers. An active social life can also boost the immune system.
LMH created Active•Senior with all these factors in mind, looking to benefit the seniors in the community. Each year, the Active•Senior goal program will begin in May and complete at the end of April. Throughout the year, participants will work to achieve goals in four categories: Physical, Nutritional, Mental, and Social. Each category features 20 goals, each of which is tied to either a specific event or a long-term healthy habit. Upon completion of each goal, participants earn a designated number of points.
At the end of each program year, the Health Systems will hold a yearly Active•Senior celebration during the month of June. During the event, which will include an auction, participants may use the points earned throughout the year to bid on exciting prizes, such as valuable gift cards, FitBit fitness trackers, bicycles, and more. Participants must achieve at least eight goals in each of the four categories in order to attend the event and be eligible for prizes. The Active•Senior program also will feature various fun events throughout the year for participants to improve their health, connect with friends and family, and earn points toward their goals.
Beginning in May, interested participants, age 60 and older, may register online at www.LMHSActiveSenior.org, and create a custom username and password. Registration on the website will allow participants to document their progress on an ongoing basis for an opportunity to win great prizes. Participants also may track their progress in an Active•Senior booklet, and then transfer the information to the www.LMHSActiveSenior.org website prior to the end of each program year in April. Booklets will be available at Licking Memorial Hospital, Licking Memorial physician offices and other select community locations.
The Active•Senior program booklet and corresponding website (www.LMHSActiveSenior.org) were designed to promote healthy lifestyles for adults through various activities. These activities have been designed, reviewed, and approved by medical staff, physical therapists, and dietitians to ensure a well-balanced program. However, individuals should discuss their personal exercise and nutrition goals with their physician.
Please contact LMHS Public Relations at (740) 348-1560 for additional program information or beginning in May, visit the website at www.LMHSActiveSenior.org.