The health benefits of daily physical activity are well-established, however, less than a quarter of older adults in the US regularly engage in it. For many, it can be difficult to find or consistently participate in enjoyable, rewarding activities due to time, resources, or health concerns. In response to this, on October 19, 2011, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) kicked off its Go4Life Campaign to encourage older adults to incorporate physical activities into their daily lives. This federal campaign, targeting individuals age 50 and better, provides advice and resources to encourage sedentary individuals to incorporate physical activities into their daily lives.
Go4Life is a collaborative program that involves federal agencies such as the NIA and National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as other public and private organizations nationwide. The program provides resources to participating organizations and to the general public, and, as part of the initiative, many organizations will be sponsoring activities and other practical programs with the objective of involving older adults.
The Go4Life website offers scientifically based, practical advice for older adults looking for ways to increase physical activity. The site includes tip sheets on topics such as low- cost and free exercise options; choosing a retirement community that encourages physical activity; healthy eating; exercise tips for caregivers; and, for those looking for motivation, the real-life benefits of physical fitness. In addition, the site provides instructions and information about different forms of exercise, as well as online virtual coaches. Many of the materials are also available in Spanish.
The program and website are useful for individuals or service providers looking to encourage physical activity, access health information about diet and exercise, and to connect with other agencies who encourage healthy, active aging.