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Active Aging Week promotes elder fitness

Walking the dog and playing with grandchildren. Tilling the soil for next year's garden. Visiting friends and family before sailing off on a cruise. There are many reasons getting older means getting better, and being able to do what you want, when you want, is one of them.

Older adults can discover ways to choose an active life by participating in Active Aging Week, an annual national event promoted by the International Council on Active Aging, held the last week of September and culminating on Oct. 1 with International Day of Older Persons.

"Staying active is the low-cost way to stay independent and healthy as we grow older," said Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the organization. "It's also much more interesting than sitting around all day doing nothing."

The Largo Community Center invites older adults to try a select group of classes and activities for free during Active Aging Week. The list includes aerobics, self-defense, line dancing, yoga, biking, golfing and more.

For information, call (727) 518-3131 or visit www.largocommunitycenter.com.

• • •

Pinellas County Schools' food service is partnering with celebrity chef Jon Ashton and registered dietitian Jennifer Whittaker from the Dairy Council of Florida to attack the growing problem of childhood obesity by showing children that "good-for-you" food can look good, taste good and be fun to prepare.

The pair will bring a message of nutrition, healthful cooking and plenty of exercise to the students of Belleair Elementary School from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Ashton, who has appeared on NBC's Today and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, is the food correspondent on the nationally syndicated morning show Daily Buzz and the in-house chef for Relish magazine. His empathy for overweight children and his determination to improve the eating choices of young people comes from his experience as an obese child.

"If I didn't understand what it felt like to be an overweight teenager, I guess I couldn't be so passionate about working with children to prevent the many obesity problems facing our nation," he said. "Looking back, being overweight gave me insight into what would become a primary goal in my adult journey. I can understand fully how hurtful and torturous it can be and, most of the time, children suffer in silence."

• • •

A free "Lunch and Learn" seminar on irregular heart rhythms is scheduled for noon Thursday at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital, Tarpon Springs.

Enjoy a complimentary heart-healthy lunch with guest speaker Rose M. Roca, cardiologist.

Seating is limited and reservations are required. Call (727) 943-3600, weekdays.

• • •

Learn why children need a healthy breakfast, the difference between brown bag vs. school lunch, and essential nutrients for youngsters at the free lecture "Nutritional Head Start for Children's Health" with Dr. Wunderlich at 6 p.m. Friday at Nature's Food Patch, 1225 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Call (727) 443-6703.

• • •

Dr. David Minkoff will discuss "Hormone Health and Peak Performance" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at LifeWorks Wellness Center, 301 Turner St., Clearwater. Seating is limited. RSVP by calling (727) 466-6789.

• • •

Join a free introductory seminar and learn about "Laughter Yoga," a gentle, effective cardiovascular and wellness program that combines stretching, deep breathing and laughter at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Highland Recreation Center, 401 Highland Ave., Largo.

Call (727) 518-3018.

Seminars/support groups

(Free unless otherwise noted.)

T.O.P.S. (Take off pounds sensibly): 8-10 a.m. Wednesdays at the Largo Community Center, 65 Fourth St., Largo, (727) 538-2361. Fee.

T.O.P.S. (Take off pounds sensibly): Noon-2 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 812 Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, (727) 938-0934. Fee.

Co-dependents Anonymous (central Pinellas): 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at Bible Fellowship Church, 4670 East Bay Drive, Largo. Call (727) 365-4896.

nar-anon family group: 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday (except holidays), Crystal Beach Community Hall, 517 Crystal Beach Ave., visit www. nar-anon.org or e-mail naranonfamilygroups@yahoo.com.

Active Aging Week promotes elder fitness 09/15/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 15, 2008 4:23pm]
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