Healthy Aging Isn’t Rocket Science, But It Is Science

Despite ever prominent stories and studies on ways to improve your health, people still struggle with making the choices that will improve the quality and length of their life.

The reasons for the gap between knowledge and action are complex but, simply stated, many people need both professional and social support to start and maintain an active lifestyle. This is where the expertise of a medical fitness facility – from assessments to specialized programs – can make an impact.

The professional and social support provided at the Wellness Institute helps people at any age but is crucial for older adults who are under-served in public facilities developed for sports and commercial fitness mainly focused on body sculpting.

The key factors for healthy aging for older adults are embedded in the design of Wellness, from the programs and services to the physical amenities. These include:

  • physical activity,
  • healthy food choices,
  • emotional and mental wellness,
  • falls prevention,
  • smoking cessation and
  • social connectedness.

According to Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Health Officer Michael Routledge, “social connectedness and healthy behaviours have particular benefits for older adults because they have been shown to positively affect and influence overall wellbeing, the ability to cope with stress, life changes and healthy aging.”*

45% of Wellness Institute’s members are over 60 and, with half a million visits to Wellness each year, they are demonstrating the active lifestyle Canada needs to improve its health. Simply reaching the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults can reduce risk of premature death, loss of independence and chronic illness by 30%.  With higher levels of physical activity the risk drops by 60%.

When it comes to healthy food choices, research has shown that diet is integral in maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of some cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions as well as managing many conditions and food sensitivities. However, finding a voice for guidance can be daunting with sources recommending everything from the next super food to fad diet. Our registered dietitian provides trusted nutritional expertise to support both individual needs and our evidence-based, comprehensive programs for weight loss or managing chronic illness.

Other factors for healthy aging are addressed with group programs for mind and body, stretch and strength breaks, interventions based on initial screenings for members, community screenings at special events, and the numerous safety and accessibility considerations in the facility.

In addition, every older adult who attends Wellness Institute receives a social benefit even if they don’t participate in a program. There are opportunities to interact with staff, spaces for people to meet to talk or have coffee plus over 300 older adults who gather regularly for free to play cards or quilt.

Find out more about current programs and support services at our Healthy Aging page and look for more articles and information to come in our news section.