Tis the season to be older and fit too!

2013December12_SeniorFitness_AAcross the globe populations are getting older. Baby boomers are all grown up and lower mortality rates among babies and young people, and in many cases falling birth rates, have contributed to an increase in the over 65s. With more older people than ever before living longer than ever before, now is the time for this age group to really ring in the changes and create a better lifestyle, with a focus on more activities and fitness too.

There once was a time when you were expected to roll softly into your senior years in a traditional way. This might have involved boiled sweets, cooking cakes for grandkids, and staying at home most of the time, as you softly headed toward old age. Being over 65 was certainly not the age to be gadding about, keeping fit and living life to the full. How the times have changed! And with it, there are far more opportunities for this age group to enjoy a fit and fulfilled life with fitness programs helping to improve and maintain mobility, strength and flexibility. Looking at the statistics across the world, the next couple of decades are only going to see an increase in grey power!

USA

It’s estimated that by 2030 around 19% of the population in the US will be over 65, according to the US Census Bureau. In 2011 there were over 41 million men and women over 65, representing over 13% of the population, and this number is rising. Not only that but in this category it is the older age group statistics that are increasing too. Compared to 1900, the 75-84 years old age group was 16 times larger in 2011, with the 85+ category some 40 times larger.

Canada

While the US might stand out as the third most populous country in the world, Canada is distinct for its burgeoning elderly population. Expectations noted by Statistics Canada are that by 2051 around one in four Canadians will be over the age of 65. At present around one in seven Canadians are aged over 65, with numbers reaching nearly 5 million in 2011, an increase of just over 14% in five years. Drop a few years and the figures are more dramatic too. In 2012 over 20% of the population in Canada was over the age of 50, this is sent to rise to around 28.5% by 2030.

Australia

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the percentage of over 65s in the country was around 14% in 2011, with 3 million people over this age threshold. This is an increase from 8.3% in 1971. During the same period, the number of people aged 85 years and over has more than tripled. This is reflected in the fact that over half of the 65 and over population are aged between 65 and 74, with just under a half being above the age of 74.

UK & Ireland

While the ageing population percentage in the UK is not as high as it is in many European countries, such as Italy, Spain, Greece and Germany, it is predicted that by 2035 23% of the total population will be aged 65 and over. In 2010 this figure stood at 17%. The biggest increase expectations will be in those aged 85 and older, according to the Office for National Statistics. Likewise, in Ireland, the National Council on Ageing and Older People records that the rise between 2002 and 2021 will be around just over 70% to possibly just under 80% in men, and a rise of over 52% in women, with this increase potentially being higher at just under 58%.

Japan

Japan is the nation with the highest 65 and over population which at present stands at around 20%. With the biggest decline in birthrate in history, the percentage of older Japanese people is only set to rise.

Are you 65 or older or heading to this milestone? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Tis now the season to improve your fitness levels for a better quality of life for the future.

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