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Health and Fitness Day'

The last Wednesday in May is National Senior Health and Fitness Day. The theme for this year's National Senior Health and Fitness Day, May 26, is "Get Going...Get Fit...Start Today!"

Maintaining a healthy weight for one's height generally depends on eating nutritiously and participating in physical activity. Unfortunately, overweight and obesity are steadily increasing in the United States among all age groups. In New York State a striking 64.2 percent of all older adults are overweight or obese. Of that, 48.5 percent are in Clinton County.

The Center for Disease Control suggests physical activity guidelines that are reasonable for older adults - generally 30 minutes of moderate daily physical activity 5 days per week and muscle strengthening two days or more per week. The National Institute on Aging also has a guide book that promotes physical activity which can be found on-line.

Physical activity is beneficial because it lowers your risk of developing coronary heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, symptoms of depression, falls and injuries and ultimately mortality. Physical activity also improves the physical function and mobility of people with arthritis.

Nutritious eating is also important to a healthy lifestyle. To improve your diet, monitor your serving and portion sizes, read ingredient labels for nutritional content (e.g., saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugar and salt content). The Weight-Control Information Network Web site, www.win.niddk.nih.gov, has a page that focuses on healthy eating for older adults entitled "Young at Heart, Tips for Older Adults."

If you want learn more ways to remain physically active and stay healthy, contact the Clinton County Office for the Aging or visit Office for the Aging at Champlain Centre mall May 26. Make this day your stepping stone to a healthier you!

The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.

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