Healthy Living: What Is Positive Aging?

Positive aging is a hot topic these days; it’s a lifestyle that accepts that we will get older. Age doesn’t need to prevent you from leading a healthy lifestyle. While aging is inevitable, diminished quality of life is not

Our world values are not set in stone. We invite you to challenge the negative attitudes you may have toward aging. Not everyone sees age as something negative; instead, they see it as a natural part of life. 

Ageism refers to “how we think (stereotypes), feel (prejudice), and act (discrimination) toward others or ourselves based on age”. It’s everywhere, as you can see by this infographic from WHO

The good news is that ageism can be combatted through policy and law that protect human rights and address age discrimination, educating individuals on ageism to enhance their empathy, and connecting people of different generations.

At AAIM, we want to change attitudes about aging. What does healthy living look like for an older person? Here’s how you can embrace a more positive attitude about aging:

Prioritizing Physical Activity

Even though your body changes as you get older, it’s still important to stay physically active. We recommend aiming for 30-60 minutes of activity each day. Doing so offers physical and mental benefits. 

If you’re new to engaging in activity be sure to check in with your doctor first. Start slowly and gradually increase your time. 

Not sure what kinds of activities to try? If you deal with chronic pain, mobility issues, or arthritis, you may feel like your options are limited. But there are plenty of ways to practice physical healthy living, including:

Staying Socially Active

Socializing is a great way to fill our days with positive emotions and manage stress. Sometimes, all we need to shake off a bad day is a good laugh with our friends. 

Life is richer when we share it with loved ones. Stay connected to your community by participating in different events and programs. 

Eating Right

Need help with planning a healthy diet? By eating right, you can boost your immune system and be at a lower risk of having a heart attack. Here are a few healthy eating tips to get you started:

A  healthy diet is part of overall healthy living. Part of eating right is eliminating harmful substances from our lifestyles. Even if you’ve been smoking for years, you can still benefit by stopping today. Research shows that when you quit smoking, you lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer

Limiting or discontinuing alcohol consumption is another effective way to improve your overall health. Lower your risk for chronic diseases by cutting harmful substances out of your life. 

Minding Your Mental Health

Your mental health is an integral part of healthy aging. Did you know? Doing acts of kindness yourself is also likely to boost your happiness and your mental well-being.

What can you do to improve your mental well-being?

Fill your life with things that make you happy. Passions, hobbies, and friendships all add value to your day. We encourage you to try learning new things. By practicing cognitive tasks (like learning, critical thinking, and remembering), you can keep your mind sharp. 

Visiting Your Doctor Regularly 

The aging process looks different for everyone. Many older adults deal with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, vision loss, and heart disease. It’s important to monitor these conditions and be mindful of them each day. A health care provider can help you learn about what positive aging might look like for you.  

Getting a Good NIght’s Rest

Our sleep cycle changes as we age. But what if you’re consistently sleeping poorly?

According to public health research, poor sleep quality is sometimes linked to lifestyle changes (including mental health issues and social isolation). By embracing positive aging and making lasting changes to your lifestyle, you can get a night of deeper sleep. 

Learning How To Age Actively

At Active Aging in Manitoba, we aim to promote positive aging. With our online resources, annual events, and programs, we work to help older adults with healthy aging in Manitoba

Ready to embrace an active aging lifestyle? Contact AAIM today!

Sport for Life: Reap the Benefits of Participation

Participating in sports is rewarding, fun and social. As an older adult, you’re likely more selective about which sports you play. Depending on your age and health history, certain activities and sports may be more uncomfortable and can put you at a higher risk of injury (such as running, deadlifting/heavy weightlifting, or deep squats). 

There are plenty of activities and sports that offer the benefits of exercise with minimal risks. At Active Aging in Manitoba, we want to help older adults stay active as they age. 

We’re going to cover the benefits of regular workouts and share our top picks for some great activities and sports for older adults: 

The Health Benefits of Sports Activities

The many benefits of staying physically active include:


Pickleball is an incredibly popular sport among older adults. Think of it as a mix between ping-pong, tennis, and badminton. The rules are simple to grasp, but honing your hand-eye coordination takes a bit more time. 

Enjoy a moderate-intensity activity without putting too much stress on your body. If you’re interested in playing pickleball in Manitoba, contact our office! We can help you find an indoor or outdoor court near you.


By swimming, you can enjoy vigourous aerobic activity while the water lessens the pressure on your joints. Water aerobics is a whole body workout. This activity engages your arms, legs, and core muscles. 

Look for a way to try an aqua aerobics workout? Outdoor pools in Manitoba are unavailable for most of the year. Try to find indoor poor facilities that you can use during the winter; contact your local pool facility to find out what programs they offer.


Playing golf is one of the best ways to spend a summer day. You can enjoy the beauty of nature, engage in a competitive and fun game, and enjoy a low-impact sport. 

Golf is an ideal sport for older adults for a few reasons. It involves plenty of walking to keep you on the move. As you swing the golf club, you build muscle in your arms and core. Strategizing about how to play keeps your brain engaged. It’s often a social experience which is great for your mental health.On top of that, using a pull cart to carry your clubs adds to the workout!

Indoor Exercise

In Manitoba, the cold winters make it difficult to exercise outside. Even though you’re longing for fresh air, some winter days are too dangerous to go for a walk due to icy conditions or a high windchill. Indoor exercising is always an option. 

A good workout raises your heart rate, helps you feel invigorated, stay connected to your community, and improve your overall health. You don’t want to pass up on great exercise just because it’s cold outside. Stay active year-round by trying these indoor workouts. 

A few ways to stay active indoors include:

Urban Poling (Nordic Walking)

Urban poling engages more muscles than regular walking. It’s a full-body workout! 

These specially designed walking poles, which are similar to cross country ski poles,  engage your whole body, including your upper body, core muscles, and lower body. Make your muscles stronger with this form of brisk walking. It’s a great outdoor activity year-round.

Lawn Bowling

Get your joints moving in a lively game of bowling! You don’t need to book a bowling alley to play this classic game. Instead, you can play it in your own backyard. 

Just like regular bowling, you roll the bowling ball towards the target (a smaller white ball called a “jack”). Instead of an alley, you roll the ball along a smooth stretch of grass.  

Bocce Ball

While this sport is similar to lawn bowling, there are a few important differences. A bocce ball is completely round—with lawn bowling, the ball has an elliptical side so that it travels in a curve. Low impact sports like bocce ball help older adults avoid injuries. All you need is a patch of grass and a partner and you’re ready for a match. Check out our “How to Play Bocce” video on our website. 

Sign Up for the Manitoba 55+ Games!

Make exercise part of your daily routine with these sports for older adults. After reading about these activities, you might feel inspired to try something new. 

So, what’s the perfect activity or sport for your lifestyle? You might need to try a few before you decide on your favourite. At Active Aging in Manitoba, we host the 55+ Games. This annual multi-sport event features three days of activities, including pickleball, arts & crafts, and golf. 

Our goal is to change attitudes about aging. Find out how much fun exercise can be at the 55+ Games. Sign up today!

Benefits Of Pickle Ball For Older Adults

Pickleball was founded in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and his two friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCullum. The game is a hybrid of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. Before we dive into its benefits, let’s get your main question out of the way: Why on earth is it called “pickleball”?

There are two prevailing theories as to how the name came about:

Joel Pritchard’s wife (Joan) claims that the name references a pickle boat, a team of leftover oarsmen that weren’t picked for other crews in a boat race. This theory checks out; pickleball features a combination of elements from other racquet sports.

But Barney McCallum claims that the Prichards named the game after their family dog, Pickles (even though the Prichards claim that they only got the dog years after the sport was invented). 

We might never know for sure. But there’s one thing we can all agree on: Pickleball is a pretty great name for a sport.

Buckle up, picklers; we’re going to explain all the benefits of this beloved sport: 

It’s Perfect for Older Adults!

Many older adults are hesitant to play sports for a few reasons. Many physical activities involve running, a high-impact activity that can be tough on sore joints.

Pickleball courts aren’t as long or wide as tennis courts. Due to the smaller court, pickleball involves significantly less running than most other sports. On top of that, the lightweight paddle helps prevent tennis elbow. It reduces the strain on your shoulders and wrists. 

For those with arthritis or other joint issues, pickleball is a way to engage the body without causing pain. 

Cardiovascular Benefits

Playing pickleball is more than a game of competitive fun—it’s also a great way to improve your overall health. 

Given that pickleball is a relatively new sport, there is little research about its specific health benefits. However, we can turn to data gathered about similar sports to understand why pickleball is so positive for older adults. 

Physical activity plays an integral part of your cardiovascular health. It helps you maintain healthy levels of blood sugar. Do you deal with high blood pressure? Moderate exercise can help you lower your blood pressure as it strengthens your heart.

This low-impact activity is ideal for older adults. Unlike other sports, you don’t need to put too much pressure on your body and muscles to play the game. Maintain your cardiorespiratory fitness when you practice active living for older adults.

Easy To Learn

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in Canada. And there’s a reason for that: Not only is it conducive to a healthy lifestyle and social activity, but it’s easy to learn, too! 

The game was designed to be accessible for all ages; it’s a great way to bring the family together. If you’re familiar with tennis, badminton, or ping-pong, then you already know most of the rules. The rules are simple, but those with better hand-eye coordination will certainly have a competitive advantage. 

The pickleball equipment you need is minimal; the game requires a few pickleball paddles (which are larger than ping pong paddles but smaller than tennis racquets), a pickleball court (similar to a tennis court or badminton court), and a plastic ball. 

People play pickleball for all sorts of reasons. But by far, one of the most popular is that it’s a ton of fun. Pickleball is a great way for children and older adults to get active together.

Cognitive Benefits

As we age, our cognition can decline. Luckily, there are many ways to mitigate the decline. Physical activity and socializing play a big role.  By exercising our minds and playing with others, we can keep our mental agility sharp. 

During a competitive game of pickleball, your brain works overtime. You’re constantly reacting to what other pickleball players are doing, anticipating where the ball will land, and planning your next move. You have to concentrate on the sport to keep up with the score. 

All these things help us maintain our cognitive strength. Engage your brain with a round of pickleball!

Strengthen Your Body

Given that this sport is a low-impact activity, there isn’t much risk involved with playing, especially for older adults. The physical benefits of pickleball include:

You can enjoy all these benefits without putting too much strain on your body. Stay active and healthy by scheduling a weekly game of pickleball!

Stay Social

Isolation is a risk factor for developing dementia. One study found that those who are socially isolated are at a 50% higher risk of dementia

Did you know that leisure activities have mental health benefits, too? Pickleball can enrich your social life by helping you get involved with your community. Social benefits include reducing symptoms of depression

Build social connections when you play pickleball with friends and others in your community. What better way to get your friends together than by hosting a round of pickleball? You can host an informal game that’s all about having fun or put together a friendly competition. 

Ready To Play Pickleball? 

As we age, we need to find new ways to stay active, maintain a healthy weight, and preserve our good health. Playing pickleball is the perfect solution. This sport is ideal for older adults; it’s easy on the body and great for the mind.

At Active Aging in Manitoba, we aim to promote healthy and active lifestyles for older adults. Curious to find out where you can play pickleball in Winnipeg? On our website, you’ll find a list of indoor and outdoor places where you can play pickleball. 

Interested in learning more about this up-and-coming sport? Contact our office today!