“We have a very active community,” says Jones. “We have approximately 40 seniors, including residents including our Senior Day Program attendees, who attend our daily fitness classes, participating in activities such as chair exercises and light band resistance. It’s clear they understand the benefits and just plain enjoy themselves while exercising with friends. We give our seniors plenty of opportunity to make exercise fun and dancing at our Friday night happy hour is a big hit.”
Seniors are most receptive to physical activity when they have individualized plans that fit both their lifestyle and interests. Jones adds that these plans can be developed by caregivers, therapists, nurses, assisted living activities staff or even the senior themselves, but reminds that all such plans should be discussed with the person’s physician first.
Integrating modified, low-impact activities, like yoga and Tai Chi for example, into seniors’ exercise plans increases the likelihood that they will commit to a new, healthy lifestyle and keep it up.
Regular activity lowers risk factors linked to the development of chronic diseases, such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and many others. It can also reduce arthritis pain, anxiety and depression. These benefits can be derived from such simple activities:
· Chair exercises: A lot can be done when someone is seated. From arm circles and neck stretches to knee extensions and squeezing a ball, sitting doesn’t have to mean lounging.
· Balloon volleyball: Only two participants are needed, but this can be a fun group activity that also is played sitting down. Simply line up chairs across from each other and use a balloon as the volleyball. Make it a combination of volleyball and soccer if you want to kick the balloon as well!
· Walking, keep walking: Walking strengthens the heart and lungs. Seniors in particular, though, need to be sure to walk at their own pace and rest when they are tired. Having a set walking course is helpful.
· Dancing: Dancing is a physical activity that is fun, safe and good aerobic exercise.
· Stretching: Stretching is a good way to strengthen joints and bones. Knowing how to maintain proper form can help minimize injuries.
“The best thing is that no matter the fitness level, seniors do have a lot of attractive options to stay fit with regular physical activity,” says Jones. “Sometimes all they need are a few ideas and a little encouragement.”
About Grand Villa of Melbourne
Grand Villa of Melbourne (www.grandvillamelbourne.com)
About Senior Management Advisors, Inc.
Senior Management Advisors (SMA) (www.seniormanagementadvisors.com) is a leading operator of full service independent living, assisted living and Alzheimer’s care residential communities in Florida and Georgia. SMA specializes in rejuvenating and stabilizing senior living communities for owners, financial institutions, private investors and government agencies. SMA’s services include consultation, management, development and renovation of residential communities.