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( J.R.S. 30)

Offered by: Senator Ankeney of Chittenden County.

Whereas, this country in this century has witnessed an unprecedented change in average life expectancy, from 42 years at birth in 1900 to 84 years today, and

Whereas, one in every eight citizens today is 65 years of age or older, and in just 30 years, one in five will be, and the number of Americans 85 years of age and older will triple by the year 2030, and

Whereas, eight out of ten people over the age of 65 live independently and constitute a major resource in our cities and towns, and the majority of older people continues to contribute substantially to the welfare of their families, friends, neighbors, and communities, and

Whereas, the extent to which aging individuals realize their potential to continue to stretch themselves and to enjoy the rewards of productive involvement with life is affected by their physical, mental, and spiritual health, and

Whereas, the majority of physical ailments and other debilities that prevent full, vibrant realization of that potential results from a deliberately chosen unhealthy lifestyle, and

Whereas, raising the consciousness of all people to the fact that the choice of sound preventive health habits including proper nutrition and regular exercise can result in an ever-increasing number of our citizens experiencing successful and productive aging, and

Whereas, if the benefits of exercise alone could be put into pill form, it would be prescribed more than any other medication, and

Whereas, walking is acclaimed as the perfect exercise, particularly for older adults, encourages sociability, costs next to nothing, and, when practiced regularly, yields tangible improvement in health, and

Whereas, we the elected leadership of the citizens of the State of Vermont have a sworn duty to promote the well-being of our constituency, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That we unanimously support any and all efforts to emphasize the importance of exerciseas a sound health choice for people of any age, but especially for elders, and be it further

Resolved: That we recognize with appreciation and endorse the efforts of the Center for the Study of Aging at the University of Vermont and the five not-for-profit Area Agencies on Aging in Vermont to serve the growing number of resourceful and dedicated older people and their families, particularly the initiative taken by the Center and the agencies to highlight the potential benefits of regular exercise by organizing a statewide walk for healthy aging, and be it further

Resolved: That we support this worthy endeavor by declaring Sunday, June 1, 1997 as AVermont Walk for Healthy Aging Day.@