Let’s Get Physical
by Linda Manwarren, Wellness Committee Chair
The ARTA annual Wellness Challenge is happening April 1-June 30, 2023 – a perfect opportunity to up your physical activity game! We hope it will be easier for you to participate this year – all you have to do is make a check mark on any day you complete 30 minutes of activity. The Canadian guideline for physical activity for seniors indicates real impact occurs when there is at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. A recent Swedish study found that physical activity was the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life—even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. Several years ago, I watched a video with Dr Evans called 23 and a half hours. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth a look. This YouTube video about the health benefits of exercise is entertaining as well as informative. Dr Evans provides evidence that exercise positively affects quality of life in a lighthearted way. The benefits of exercising regularly are widely known and are written about frequently in health magazines and reviews of research through the McMaster Optimal Aging portal. Here are the top reasons to exercise regularly that I have come across:
- Maintain or lose weight.
- Reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease.
- Enhance your mobility, flexibility, and balance.
- Improve how well you sleep.
- Boost your mood and self-confidence.
- Improve your brain function.
Getting started is sometimes the most difficult thing to do and then it is the consistency that is required. In honour of ARTA’s 60th anniversary, there are 60 ideas listed for wellness activities to inspire you. Participating in the challenge by checking off at least 15 days in a month will earn you three extra entries into the random draws done monthly. It has been said that actions that receive positive feedback and are repeated for a minimum of 21 days are foundational in creating a habit. Participating in the ARTA Wellness Challenge can provide inspirational support for developing the habit, or reinforcing one you already have! I urge you to join the challenge and support your branch by registering there. In the end, everyone wins by not only potentially adding years to your life, but by adding life to your years.