Granholm Proclaims May 31 As Senior Health & Fitness Day

Contact: Karen Carroll (517) 373-8230

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 30, 2006

To raise awareness about the importance of healthy aging and physical activity for older Michiganians, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has declared May 31, 2006 as Senior Health & Fitness Day in Michigan.

"Together, we can make Michigan a leader in disease prevention and health promotion efforts so that Michiganians can age successfully," Granholm said in her Executive Declaration.

According to the 2000 census, Michigan has nearly 1.6 million people over the age of 60, which represents 16 percent of the total population. By the year 2025, Michigan's population of people age 65 years and older is projected to grow from 12.3 percent to 18.1 percent.

Research has shown that regular, moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. It can also help reduce the discomfort of arthritis and help to maintain strength and balance.

"Senior Health & Fitness Day is a day to take action towards better health," said Sharon L. Gire, Director of the Office of Services to the Aging. "We are working to provide seniors with access to regular physical activity that can help keep them vital and healthy."

Senior Health & Fitness Day is the nation’s largest older adult health and fitness event. It is designed to introduce seniors to the many choices they have for physical activity, and to promote regular physical activity among this age group.

Michigan’s 16 area agencies on aging have worked with local organizations to plan health and fitness events to take place on May 31.

For more information about healthy aging or about local Senior Health & Fitness Day events, please contact the Office of Services to the Aging at (517) 373-8230.

###