By Colleen Acker, BeWell Activities Coordinator
When you think of exercise, what comes to mind? Sweaty, out of breath people in tight pants guzzling water in a small, windowless room? Or pitiful participants enduring painful, boring, repetitions as a tiny female with a messy bun yells at them to feel the burn? Better yet, maybe you have the early trauma of a man with huge hair in gym shorts perspiring to music from the fifties. Breath deeply. Let go of the past. A new day has Tony Orlando and Dawned.
Enjoying Exercise As You Age
Getting your daily dose of exercise doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. It counts if you walk down the driveway to get the mail. It matters if you take the stairs, park farther away from the store, or reach down to touch your toes three times a day. It is beneficial if you march during the commercials of your favorite program, carry all the groceries into the house by yourself, or take a leisurely swim.
You might be surprised to know that physical activity can be enjoyable! Pair it with something you love to do like read, listen to music, or talk to a friend. Many people love to dance, so bust some moves at home or cut a rug at the local grange on a regular basis. Take up line dancing at a senior center or other community venue. Get social with an exercise class or find a fitness video on YouTube in the comfort of your living room. You could try Cardio Drumming, Tai Chi, water aerobics, chair exercises, weightlifting, or jogging. The possibilities are quite plentiful!
How much exercise does an older adult need?
The CDC recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise (moderate = you can talk but not sing) per week. You can split up that 150 minutes any way you would like – 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there. However, you don’t have to start at the recommendation. Begin at your comfort level, set a goal and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. If your confidence level is less than a 7, rethink your goal. Anyone can become more active if they are realistic and ready to make a commitment.
So, what’s in it for you? Everything! Exercise can increase your energy, help manage chronic health conditions, maintain a healthy weight, decrease depression, and increase your overall confidence. Being active can even reduce your risk of falls.
An article published by Stanford Medicine states, “Physical activity is the most effective way to reduce the risk of falling.” Stanford doesn’t lie and neither do hips – broken or otherwise. With proper warm up, form, stretching, and a blessing from your medical professional, the future of your wellbeing is more gain than pain!
Exercise with us in Barry and Calhoun Counties!
The best news of all is that you don’t have to go far to find the encouragement you need to be more active. CareWell Services offers exercise classes at Kool Family Community Center on Tuesdays and Fridays at 1:00. Tuesday’s class, Strong Bones, uses repetitive movements with weights, to strengthen bodies for better fitness. Friday’s class, MoveWell, cycles through several different exercises using weights and bands, standing and sitting. The class offers plenty of stretches and a calming cool down. A six week session of WERQ Cardio Dance Fitness will be starting on May 17 at 3:00. WERQ is a wildly addictive and fiercely fun cardio dance fitness class. The 35-minute class is full of fresh choreography set to pop and hip hop tunes. All fitness levels are welcome, but registration is required.
Now you have no excuses. Go pick up the phone and call (269) 966-2450 for more information. Check out carewellservices.org for other events, workshops, or classes currently being offered at Kool Family Community Center, Heritage Commons, or Forks Senior Center.