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|Move It or Lose It: 5 Moves to Put Seniors Back in the Game|
|News Releases - Sports & Recreation|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Friday, 22 March 2013 13:30|
For Americans 65 and older, falling down can be the worst thing to happen to them, according to statistics from the National Council on Aging:
“The projected cost in health-care expenses for 2020 due to fall-related injuries in the United States is $55 billion,” says Karen Peterson, a therapist with multiple certifications, and author of “Move With Balance: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body,” (www.MoveWithBalance.org). She’s also the founder and director of Giving Back, a nonprofit organization that grows and spreads programs that support senior health.
“It’s important for seniors to keep moving and learning, that’s what helps improve balance and coordination, and even helps build new neural pathways,” says Peterson, who emphasizes the cognitive importance to her workout programs. “But if you’re rather frail, or just very fearful of falling, you’re less likely to get up and move around.” These activities benefit all seniors, from 55 to 105.
Peterson says a fun, social program of games and activities that include exercises specifically designed for seniors helps them address multiple issues, including those that tend to keep seniors sedentary – which only lessens their strength and balance.
Last year, her program was independently evaluated from Hawaii’s Department of Heath, which found a statistically significant reduction in falls from seniors – 38 percent. It also won the MindAlert Award from the American Society on Aging.
“Seniors of all ages need to continually work on improving their balance, coordination, strength, vision and cognitive skills. When they do, they’re less likely to fall – and more able to enjoy life.”
Peterson suggests these moves, which address many different areas of the body:
“Research shows that most falls are preventable,” Peterson says. “These and other exercises, performed regularly, are a great way to achieve safety and a revitalized lifestyle.”
About Karen Peterson
Karen Peterson is founder and director of Giving Back, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of elders through intergenerational mentoring. She has multiple certifications, including as a Brain Gym® instructor, educational kinesiologist, natural vision improvement instructor, Touch for Health instructor and a massage therapist. For 25 years, Peterson has been teaching these modalities to children, businesspeople, athletes, classroom teachers and adults of all ages and occupations.
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