According to an article on AsiaOneHealth, the authorities in Sweden have recognized that exercise can be a wonderful thing for older adults. It can keep the immune system vibrant, forestall aches and pains, improve overall cardiovascular integrity, and more. Sickla Haelsocenter health club on the outskirts of Stockholm has recently been offering a subsidized exercise class — free to nonagenarians.
As of this writing, according to the article, there were 16 people over 90 years old participating in the class:
The idea is that keeping older people fit means they can continue to live independent lives — and stay out of hospitals and elderly care homes, which in Sweden’s cradle-to-grave welfare state are funded by municipalities.
‘We focus a lot on strength and balance, and we’ve seen a big improvement since we started this class in March. Back then most of the people came with canes or walkers, now almost none of them do,’ [Kristoffer] Sjoeberg [the personal trainer who leads the class of nonagenarians] says.
‘I sometimes forget to take my cane with me nowadays!’ exclaims Alice Wettergren, 92.
Getting physically fit is recommended no matter what how old you are, particularly in this age of skyrocketing medical premiums and dwindling benefits, and for seniors even more so. Still, the array of people over 90 getting involved in the Swedish program goes to prove that it is never too late.
If you’re still looking for some unique last-minute gifts to pick out, perhaps you should consider something fitness-related. Options range from Adult Tricycles for the more active to smaller, portable foot exercisers and at-home blood pressure monitors.
Of course, any senior contemplating a fitness program should do so intelligently. Consult a medical professional who is familiar with your health issues and history before embarking on any exercise program. I would also advise visiting the American Senior Fitness Association website: It contains a wealth of useful information and tips for those who want to keep in shape past 50.