Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

Seniors in Joliet find the fountain of youth

There is a fountain of youth, and millions have discovered it. The secret to feeling better and living longer is staying active. The quest is finding a program that works and sticking with it.

Well, why don’t more of us do it? Because many seniors just hate to exercise. Enjoying exercise may seem impossible, but it can be done. Almost any exercise may feel hard at first but, with some practice and consistency, the body gets stronger and that feels good. Will power is needed, especially at first.

But oh, the benefits… Regular exercise can prevent or delay diabetes and heart trouble. It can also reduce arthritis pain, anxiety and depression. It can help older people stay independent longer.

According to nlm.nih.gov, there are four main types of exercise, and seniors need some of each:

  • Strength exercises build muscles and increase metabolism, which helps to keep weight and blood sugar in check. This type of exercise also builds “staying power” and improves the health of the heart and circulatory system.
  • Balance exercises build leg muscles, and this helps to prevent falls. According to the The National Institutes of Health (NIH), American hospitals have 300,000 admissions for broken hips each year, many of them seniors, and falling is often the cause of those fractures.
  • Stretching exercises provide more freedom of movement which allow a person to be more active during his or her senior years. However, stretching exercises alone will not improve endurance or strength.
  • Endurance exercises are any activity—walking, jogging, swimming, biking —that increases heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. Endurance should be built gradually, starting with as little as five minutes at a time.

Regular exercise and physical activity are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Being physically active can help one continue to do enjoyable things and stay independent.

Regular physical activity over long periods of time can produce long-term health benefits. That’s why health experts say that older adults should be active every day to maintain their health.

In addition, regular exercise and physical activity can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and disabilities that develop as people grow older. In some cases, exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions. Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking. In fact, studies show that people with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. (nia.nih.gov)

One of the great things about physical activity is that there are so many ways to be active. For example, one can be active in short spurts throughout the day, or for a specific time of the day on specific days of the week. Sky’s the limit on choices!

Many physical activities — such as brisk walking or taking the stairs — are free or low cost and do not require special equipment.

Seniors should select something that fits their personalities and lifestyles such as group fitness, Wii fitness games, exercise TV, and exercise videos.

According to nihseniorhealth.gov, a person is more likely to become active on a regular basis if he or she:

  • chooses enjoyable activities,
  • is able to fit them into the schedule,
  • believe in the benefits, and
  • can do them safely and correctly.

Now, let’s get moving!

The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides independent living and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

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More Exercise, Less Sickness?

On my way to our retirement community this morning I was flipping through the channels on my radio and landed on NPR. I heard a report about the common cold that I thought I would pass on. The findings of the report said one thing you might expect – Get more than eight hours of sleep a night.

The other finding was to exercise on a daily basis. Researchers recruited about 1,000 volunteers between age 18 and 85 to complete a daily log of symptoms throughout cold and flu season.

At the end of the three-month study, the researchers found that the more the participants exercised, the less they reported getting sick. Those who exercised five days a week for 20 minutes or more experienced about 40 percent fewer days of illness compared with those putting in less than one day a week of activity.

For those seniors who live in the Joliet area (Plainfield, Shorewood, Channahon, Crest Hill, Minooka, Naperville, Morris, Aurora, Lockport) feel free to come to the Timbers to get your daily exercise. We have free classes almost every day for our residents and seniors in the Will county area. Classes include Tai Chi for seniors, Sittercise, monthly ballroom dances with a live orchestra, and more. Check our calendar of events for seniors.

Here is the full report from NPR. Or click here to listen to the story.

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