Two-thirds of Americans 65 and older admit they wish they’d taken their health more seriously when they were younger, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 U.S. seniors looked at how they meet their fitness and health goals and found that 46% admit they don’t have any in place.
Even so, 86% of seniors take their health more seriously now than when they were younger.
While almost two in five (39%) say they tend to take a proactive approach to their health, only 32% will seek out their doctor as soon as they start to feel unwell.
Others tend to wait out the storm and hope to feel better (22%) or try to remedy themselves (42%).
Conducted by OnePoll for ClearMatch Medicare, the survey showed that a whopping 81% of seniors polled admit their health could be better, despite the average respondent exercising about five times per week.
While 42% exercise most frequently inside their homes, 24% head outside and 15% go to the gym.
Most seniors (71%) are getting their steps in and walking to stay in shape. Others lift weights (25%), bike (20%), run (20%) or even do yoga (19%).
Half (51%) of seniors do have health or fitness-related goals and, over the past 12 months, have been successful in meeting goals pertaining to exercising more often (43%), drinking more water (34%), taking vitamins (28%) and even getting more sleep (15%).
Result also found that while most seniors tend to follow their doctor’s orders (79%), 14% will stray from their advice.
The most common advice seniors ignore from their doctors is to exercise frequently (21%), followed by eating nutritious foods (16%).
Others ignored being told to attend doctor appointments regularly (13%) or even to take medications regularly (12%).
“Many seniors have expressed regrets about not prioritizing their health in their younger years. However, the data unequivocally demonstrates that it’s never too late to start.” said Ben Pajak, CEO of ClearMatch Medicare, a part of HealthPlanOne, LLC. “Everyone should consider setting fitness goals to maintain their optimal health, and it’s worth noting that the majority of Medicare Advantage plans currently provide fitness benefits to support older Americans in their self-care efforts and active lifestyles.
Currently, the average senior visits their doctor about three times a year.
In the past, barriers like a fear of what the doctor will tell them (20%) and lack of motivation (18%) have stood in the way of actually attending the visit.
But today, almost one-third (30%) believe that they would visit their doctor less frequently now if they had taken better care of their health when they were younger.
Despite the availability of fitness benefits through Medicare Advantage plans, it’s surprising that 53% of enrollees acknowledge not utilizing these offerings,” says Vice President of Sales, Jennifer Girdler. “It’s important to take advantage of every opportunity and maximize the extra benefits that Medicare Advantage plans provide.”
Produced in association with SWNS Research
“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”
Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.