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Press Release

IBC Hosts Fair to Celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day and Older Americans Month

Area seniors participate in fitness demonstrations and learn simple ways to stay active and healthy

Philadelphia, PA - May 27, 2009 - Area seniors celebrated National Senior Health and Fitness Day and Older Americans Month at a health fair today sponsored by Independence Blue Cross (IBC), in partnership with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, Philadelphia Senior Center, and the Mayor's Commission on Aging. The fair sought to inform seniors about programs and activities to help them stay healthy, fit, and active.

Approximately 100 seniors attended the free event held at IBC's center city headquarters, and activities included health screenings, giveaways, refreshments, fitness demonstrations by SilverSneakers®, and line dancing. Representatives from Philadelphia's annual Senior Games, set to begin on June 8, were also on hand to provide information and recruit anyone interested in competing.

"We're happy that so many people came by and were active participants in the fitness demonstrations," said Stephen Fera, vice president of Government Programs at IBC. "Everyone seemed to have fun and learned something, too."

Studies show that seniors who regularly exercise benefit through:

  • improved balance to help prevent falls
  • better flexibility to speed recovery from injuries
  • a decrease in age-related muscle loss
  • increased strength and endurance for climbing stairs, lifting and carrying things
  • lowered risk of age-related dementia

Charlotte Sweeny, of Philadelphia, made an extra stop during her regular center city walk to drop by the fair. "Walking is my favorite form of exercise," she said. "I take the bus into town every day and then walk at least 10 to 15 blocks, stopping along the way to do my errands. It's a great and productive way to get my workout."

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. IBC and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.