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Campaign to get Ohio seniors active aims to lower obesity rates

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SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday marks the 24th annual Senior Health and Fitness Day, and over 100,000 older adults will get active. The problem in Ohio, however, is getting more seniors to join.

Roughly 30 percent of Ohio seniors are obese and doctors want that to change.

“A lot of seniors don’t know that their blood pressure could be elevated and they have to address that. A lot of seniors have a history of sugar diabetes in their family and never had it checked,” said Dr. Mike Sevilla, with the Family Practice Center of Salem.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading killer of those 65 and older. That’s almost double that of cancer — which holds the second spot — and respiratory disease combined.

But there are many ways to prevent heart failure and live a healthier life. Janie Crowl, the Salem Community Center wellness director, said an active lifestyle is so important.

“You will feel better, you will feel more energetic. You will have this light that comes on inside of you, and just pumps fresh oxygen and blood, and makes all the difference in the world.”

Crowl said there are so many options for seniors to make exercise more enjoyable.

“When you come here, we offer so many different activities and then if you are doing it on your own, you can call someone. One, you have that accountability partner and two, it’s just fun.”

Sometimes staying busy and active in your everyday life is enough.

“I have a lot of my patients, you know, playing with their grandkids. Trying to keep up with them is exercise enough for them,” Sevilla said.

So try making a healthier choice — it could be as simple as what you eat or changing part of your routine.


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