(NAPSI)-Seniors are more physically active than many people think, says a surprising new survey.
Of those polled, 97 percent say they are in good, very good or excellent health, and 45 percent consider themselves above average in physical fitness. Respondents believe that exercising helps improve and maintain their health and fitness levels, with 42 percent noting that they look or feel better as a result of physical activity.
However, vanity as much as wellness may be a driving force – and the search for six-pack abs does not end after one’s 50th birthday.
At least 63 percent of seniors are more concerned with their abs than any other part of their body. Only 10 percent are concerned about their hips or bottom, and only five percent are worried about their legs.
The survey was commissioned by health benefits company Humana Inc. and the SilverSneakers Fitness Program, a product of Healthways, and was conducted on eons.com.
The survey also revealed that 74 percent of seniors exercise at least three days a week and 33 percent exercise at least five days a week. Nearly half (46 percent) have been exercising for more than five years, demonstrating a long-term commitment to physical activity.
Of those surveyed, half prefer to walk or power walk to get their exercise, and, if given free time to do any physical activity, 39 percent say they’d take a long walk. Nearly half (47 percent) like to exercise outdoors, while 40 percent prefer working out at home, and 43 percent like to exercise alone.
Other key findings of the survey include:
• 17 percent say they’ve lost weight since becoming more active; 34 percent say their body just feels better.
• 53 percent say that a lack of interest, motivation or time prevents them from being more active.
• 61 percent say they started exercising because they wanted to look or feel good.
• Only about 15 percent said it was because of a doctor’s warning (five percent) or an immediate health concern (nine percent).
• Less than one percent said it was because they were re-entering the dating scene.
• 67 percent exercise today to improve their health or maintain their fitness/health level.
• 44 percent say their personal belief is what keeps them going.
• Only seven percent say it was their children (<3 percent), doctor (<3 percent) or a friend (two percent) that motivated them.
• 22 percent say they’d take an adventure vacation, go kayaking or canoeing if given free time to do something physically active.
To help inactive seniors jump-start their fitness, Humana developed a fitness book with low-impact exercises and tips on getting and staying healthy. Developed as part of the company’s sponsorship of the Senior Olympics, the book can be ordered by calling 800.710.1601 or downloaded at humana-medicare.com/fitness.