It's Never Too Late! is Message of Active Aging Week Annual Event for Older Adults Will be Held Sept. 25 through Oct. 1

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A little more activity today can lead to a much healthier and happier life in later years. That's the message behind recent headlines1 that it's never too late to start exercise. To spotlight how easy it is for older adults to add more physical activity to their lives, Active Aging Week events are being planned September 25 through October 1, 2006.

The World Health Organization designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons to highlight the fact that there are around 600 million persons aged 60 years and over living around the world today

An annual event, Active Aging Week is held the last week of September (culminating on October 1, International Day of Older Persons). With the goal of introducing older adults to physical activity and exercise options, participating organizations offer free classes, educational seminars, access to fitness facilities, health fairs, community walks or tennis matches.

"The World Health Organization designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons to highlight the fact that there are around 600 million persons aged 60 years and over living around the world today," said Colin Milner, CEO of International Council on Active Aging (ICAA). "That number will double by 2025. Every country is seeking ways to both harness the experience and skills of the aging population, and to limit the chronic disease and disability we are accustomed to associate with increasing age.

"ICAA launched Active Aging Week to demonstrate that older adults can live life as fully as possible within the six dimensions of wellness (emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social). Physical activity is not the only focus of an active lifestyle, but it is an important dimension because activity improves physical and psychological functioning, which prepares people overall for their home and work lives."

Free Active Aging Week events are scheduled throughout the last week of September by seniors organizations, retirement communities, seniors centers, health clubs, parks, recreation centers and apartment/condominium complexes that are age-restricted.

Host organizations may provide a single activity or multiple events during the week. Examples of events that have been offered include group walks (both strolls and faster paced), group-exercise classes, yoga and Pilates classes and tennis or golf games. There may be previews of upcoming activities such as a multi-week fall prevention program or computer class.

"People across the United States and Canada can look for an event near them. It's free. The organizations that host an Active Aging Week event want to introduce their age-friendly staff and locations to older adults so they know there are places they can go where they are welcome and can start very slowly at their own pace," said Milner.

This year, Active Aging Week events are available at over 2500 locations throughtout North America including 1,900 SilverSneakers sites, 300 Holiday Retirement Communities, The Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA, the Hebrew Senior Life-Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, Boston MA and the Soloway JCC, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

To find a registered host site, visit ICAA's Active Aging Week website at http://www.icaa.cc/aaw.htm. The site has additional free materials for older adults, their families and caregivers on finding age-friendly locations. Plus, look for announcements of local events in newspapers, radio and television broadcasts, and posted on bulletin boards.

Organizations who wish to host activities can find free support materials on the web site (http://www.icaa.cc/aaw.htm) including posters of active adults, press releases, certificates, a planning guide and ideas for activities.

1 Berk, D., Hubert, H. and Fries, J. (2006) Associations of Changes in Exercise Level With Subsequent Disability Among Seniors: A 16-Year Longitudinal Study. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 61:97-102.

Rothenbacher, D., Koenig, W. and Brenner, H. (2006) Life Time Physical Activity Patterns and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease. Heart. Published Online First: 19 July 2006. doi:10.1136/hrt.2006.087478.

About Active Aging Week

Website: http://www.icaa.cc/aaw.htm

Active Aging Week is an annual event held the last week of September (culminating on October 1, International Day of Older Persons). The week was initiated by the International Council of Active Aging to give as many older adults as possible the means to experience activities and exercise in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere. During the week, host organizations provide a variety of free activities, such as classes, educational seminars, access to fitness facilities, health fairs, community walks or tennis matches.

About International Council on Active Aging

Website: http://www.icaa.cc

ICAA is the world's largest association dedicated to changing the way we age by uniting professionals in the retirement, assisted living, recreation, fitness, rehabilitation and wellness fields. The council supports these professionals with education, information, resources and tools, so they can achieve optimal success with the growing population of people who are 50 years and older. ICAA is one of more than 50 of the most prominent health and aging organizations working to implement the National Blueprint on Aging.

For interviews or more information about the ICAA and aging-related issues, contact:

Colin Milner, CEO

International Council on Active Aging

Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America only)

Telephone: 604-734-4466

Cell: 604-763-4595

Website: http://www.icaa.cc

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Colin Milner
ICAA
604-734-4466
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