In the United States alone, 77 million baby boomers are reaching their “older adulthood.” And according to recent expert testimony to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, “senior citizens” could avoid as much as $660 million a year in prescription drug cost by changing their lifestyles, including their diet and activity levels. Of course, what this means to most Americans is that they could live healthier and longer, without the use of prescription medications, simply by leading a healthier lifestyle.

The current recommended activity level for adults of any age is a minimum of 30 minutes per day, at least [1] ve days per week. According to the testimony, only about 15 percent of American ages 45 to 74 are active the recommended amount. And for those age 75 and over, the percentage drops to only 12!

It is never too late to get started and reduce or eliminate the negative health implications of a sedentary lifestyle. Martial arts instruction offers a wide variety of activity, for all levels of physical fitness and ability, regardless of the age of the student. And be- cause martial arts instruction also engages the mind, it is the perfect exercise for older adults as it exercises the mind and body, as well as keeping you interested.

According to the testimony to the Committee, a major stumbling block to many older Americans in terms of dietary changes is simply lack of  dietary information. Here, through martial arts instruction, we provide holistic healthy lifestyle training, including sound nutritional recommendations.

We urge adults and children of all ages to enjoy the myriad health benefits of martial arts education. We encourage all of our students as well to be “ambassadors of healthy lifestyles” and to urge their family and friends, regardless of age, to join them in their martial arts training as a huge step toward a longer and healthier life.

Jennifer Galea is a contributing writer for Martial Arts Monthly magazine.

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