“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”-Steven Wright
As the Resident Wellness Coordinator for Liberty’s Senior Communities, I am responsible for keeping our residents active by designing and offering creative exercise programs that engage and help to maintain or improve their functional ability. If I’ve learned nothing in the 5 years that I have worked with the senior population, I have learned one thing – No matter how creative my program is, or how engaging I am, some residents just don’t like formal exercise groups or using a gym. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the period of time during which our residents were raised. Since my goal is to have every resident doing some mode of exercise, I resort back to the basics.
Walking is one of the most basic aerobic exercises. It’s convenient, as you can do it at any time of the day. It’s inexpensive since you don’t need to pay for a gym membership or equipment. It can be done alone or with a group. This basic exercise offers many benefits to seniors including:
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Increases Good Cholesterol
- Decreases Blood Sugar
- Improves Circulation
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
- Improves Balance and Coordination
- Improves Muscle Strength
- Improves Mobility
- Eliminates Fluid Build Up in Your Tissues
- Burns Fat & Helps Fight Weight Gain
The senior population may face barriers to exercise, even something as basic as walking, including lack of time, fear of injury and pain. Although the majority of seniors are retired, they still have very busy lifestyles, often spending time with family and friends, becoming involved with their community, and enjoying all the things they didn’t have time to do while they worked. Although they may not have time to get in a 30 minute walk, they can try to do several 5-10 minute walks throughout the day. As we age, we become more fearful of any type of injury knowing that it will be harder to recover the older we are. However, walking is a very gentle exercise that is encouraged by many physicians. Being inactive carries a greater risk of injury than walking. Seniors do not have to walk far to benefit themselves and can use a cane or walker for support when walking longer distances. Walking can help to decrease pain by helping to increase muscle strength.
Jane is a shining example of a success story of a resident I had the pleasure of working with. Like so many seniors, Jane came to see me because her doctor had told her she had high blood pressure and recommended that she exercise daily. Simply put – Jane was not interested in participating in the exercise classes. However, she said she would consider some time of exercise if it was something she could do at her own convenience. We talked about a walking program and I designed a schedule for her to follow. Jane faithfully followed her walking program and at her next doctor appointment she received amazing news! Her doctor informed Jane that her blood pressure has come back down to a normal level. Jane continues to walk to this day and has managed to keep her blood pressure at a normal level without medication!
For more information on senior health and wellness, contact the Becoming Center (click) at 215-643-9908.
The Becoming Center is a friendly community health and wellness center located on the campus of Artman in Ambler. Since 1994, the Becoming Center has offered personalized, comprehensive, preventive and restorative holistic wellness for active adults seeking to improve their fitness and overall wellbeing. For nearly two decades we have helped hundreds of individuals achieve their health and wellness goals.
The Becoming Center offers you a variety of services and amenities to suit your individual needs and health objectives including a fully-equipped gym, heated pool, yoga and exercise room, as well as private treatment rooms for alternative therapies and massage. The professional staff is committed to helping you reach and maintain your wellness goals and will inspire you to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit.