Today, getting older isn’t about looking back. It’s about moving forward and embracing healthy habits to prepare for what lies ahead. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of chronic disease increases significantly with age. In fact, adults 50 and older have a 70 percent chance of developing at least one chronic condition.
These serious risks demand more attention be placed on healthy living and prevention after 50-especially because the number of older Americans is expected to rise to 45 percent by 2015. Taking a comprehensive approach to health is critical, through a combination of being physically active, taking preventive measures like getting regular health screenings and vaccinations,healthy eating, and staying socially active and connected.
To make it easier to start or continue improving healthy habits of men and women 50 and older, the YMCA and Pfizer Inc have partnered to create 50 MOVING FORWARD, which aims to help adults learn about and engage in habits centered on health, prevention, fitness and fun.
“Prevention is crucial to staying healthy, so I encourage anyone over 50 to try 50 MOVING FORWARD for new ideas and advice on creating or maintaining healthy habits,” said Jim Kauffman, National Director for Health and Well-being at YMCA of the USA. “Each and every person can take a proactive role in staying healthy as they age.”
50 MOVING FORWARD offers information about healthy living and staying socially connected, as well as downloadable patient/health care provider discussion guides and tips on physical activities. Additionally, select YMCAs around the United States participating in 50 MOVING FORWARD will host healthy aging activities and events.
“50 MOVING FORWARD got me up off the couch and back into the full swing of life,” said Trish Comer, 50 MOVING FORWARD participant from the Greater Burlington YMCA in Burlington, Vt. “The fitness classes, nutrition workshops and group activities reminded me that I’m not too old to try new things, expand my circle of friends and to live healthier through regular checkups, screenings and vaccinations.”
Beyond healthy eating and physical activity, 50 MOVING FORWARD highlights the importance of screenings and vaccines to help prevent illness and health problems before they arise, and the health benefits of staying socially active.6 Even those who already practice healthy habits can benefit because the immune system naturally begins to weaken as people age.7
“As a 50 MOVING FORWARD partner, Pfizer offers unique expertise into the health needs of adults 50 years and older,” says Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer at Pfizer. “Many adults don’t realize they need to be vaccinated for diseases such as influenza, shingles and pneumococcus. Screenings and vaccinations play a vital role in helping adults prevent illness, which is why they are primary elements of 50 MOVING FORWARD.”
To learn more or sign up for 50 MOVING FORWARD, visit the website at www.ymca.net/50movingforward or contact your local Y.
What Does Your Doctor Recommend For You?
These questions will help start the conversations you should have with your health care provider about healthy aging:
• As I age, what can I do to reduce my potential health risks?
• What kinds of screenings will benefit me most?
• What can I expect to learn from these screenings and how often do I need them?
• What vaccines are recommended for me?
• How will these vaccines benefit me?
— Courtesy of North American Precis Syndicate