THERE could be good news for many of the estimated 40 million people age 65 and over in the country today. They can expect to have a longer, happier and healthier retirement experience if they are exercising their minds, bodies and spirits.
Why work out
Exercise not only helps increase bone density and functional abilities, it can improve mental and emotional health, support a sense of purpose and provide opportunity for socialization.
Exercise for older people
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.
Residents in Brookdale retirement communities across the nation enjoy Brookdale Fitness B-Fit, a unique program that aims to maximize seniors’ functional abilities. The classes have residents perform exercises that incorporate components of tai chi, brain-challenging movements and meditative relaxation.
Offered at least three days a week, the Brookdale program is based on the latest guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine. The new guidelines include cardiovascular, resistance training, flexibility and neuromotor components of exercise.
“The neuromotor aspect includes tai chi movements as a way to improve balance and reduce falls,” explained Kevin O’Neil, M.D., Brookdale’s Chief Medical Officer.
Resident Martha Jean Wells praises the program. “It helps both physically and mentally. Plus, there is something everyone can do. I’m 84, and there are ladies older than me who are participating.”
Each class can be customized to meet the needs of each resident, regardless of their challenges. It’s one of several Signature Programs by the leading owner and operator of senior living communities. Others include Optimum Life Health Talks, educational opportunities for residents to learn about health and wellness topics from nurses or therapists; The Ageless Spirit, a program that provides opportunities for residents to explore the role of spirituality in their individual lives, health and overall well-being; and My Life Story, a reminiscence and writing program that helps residents share their life story with loved ones.
Through its Innovative Senior Care program, the company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health, personalized living and hospice services.
For more information, visit www.brookdale.com. North American Precis Syndicate