VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A new study ranks Georgia as one of the worst states in the county for senior health. According to the United Health Foundation, Georgia ranked 43rd in the nation for senior health. It's a rating south Georgia heath officials are trying to improve.
75-year-old Bob Brabham isn't letting his age affect his health. This active senior says exercising keeps him going. "Yeah it feels good. I'm trying to get back in shape; I can't go as hard as I used to."
But he's working hard enough. Barbham who started exercising with his friends says he's the only one who stuck with it.
"Most of my friends that I've got that are 75 are so sick or have died, or can't walk again, have got diabetes. I'd run crazy in here. I'm not bragging but I just feel sorry for them," said Brabham.
And its those health issues that are plaguing Georgia seniors. Madeline Peyton believes it's cheaper to exercise then it is to pay for medications. "You can spend your whole day in a rocking chair watching TV and freezing your mind or you can get out and move and keep your body together. It's the energy level you get from this."
The study shows that more than 110,000 Georgians 65 and older smoke and 350,000 seniors are physically inactive.
Seniors are encouraged to do cardio and strength training exercises four days a week for about 30 minutes a day. And organizations like the YMCA in Valdosta help seniors stay active.
Georgia's strengths were a low prevalence of chronic drinking and a high percentage of hospice care.