As the Baby Boomer population ages, the benefits of physical fitness for seniors have never been more in focus. Not only does exercise increase muscle and cardiovascular health, it’s also been scientifically proven to prevent disease and slow aging. Fitness also has many psychological benefits for older Americans. Many of them are concerned with staying independent, and having the strength and fitness level to accomplish everyday tasks helps them maintain that independence and confidence that they so need.
The fitness staff at an assisted living facility is dedicated to helping residents maintain their health through exercise and wellness programs. In fact, the majority of assisted living residents become much more active and healthy after transitioning to a facility than they ever were in their own home, because assisted living offers up a whole new world of opportunities for fitness. There are many different categories of fitness programs that you or your loved one can enjoy if they are thinking about assisted living.
1. Sports and Recreation
Many assisted living facilities offer access to golf courses and tennis courts so that independent seniors can always arrange a game. Sports can also be a part of outings at a facility, and some even form their own bowling leagues. Staff will sometimes organize hikes and nature walks, and some senior’s just take it upon themselves to do mall walks or walks around the grounds. A popular trend in assisted living facilities these days is Wii Sports, so even residents who are less physically able to get out and play can enjoy golf, bowling, and other fitness options from the comfort of their own room.
2. Group Fitness Classes
Exercise in assisted living facilities is often focused on improving the mind and spirit as well as the body. Many residents enjoy yoga classes, and they can be offered for people of different physical abilities, including chair yoga for seniors who are uncomfortable standing for long periods of time. Seniors also enjoy Tai-chi, which can help them improve their balance. Most facilities also come equipped with an indoor pool. Low-impact water aerobics is one of the most beneficial ways for seniors to get fit, partly because it works well for seniors with arthritis and osteoporosis.
One thing that the fitness staff at an assisted living facility often learns is that seniors love to dance. Dance classes can be an easy and fun part of their fitness program, and depending on which facility they reside in, seniors can have a world of options. Ballroom, line, and square dancing are common, but there’s also Scottish and Irish dancing, as well as Latin dancing. Many assisted living facilities have gotten in on the Zumba trend by offering Zumba Gold, the lower-impact version of Zumba class, designed specifically for older adults. Many facilities will also hold regular dances as social events, where residents are encouraged to show off their skills.
The fitness options available to seniors depend on their assisted living facility’s schedule and accommodations, but nearly every residence will have a wealth of exercise options. Fitness is a big reason why transitioning to an assisted living facility can often provide the opposite effect from what seniors might expect. By staying active, meeting new people, and trying new things, they can vastly improve their quality of life, which will keep them healthy and happy for a long time to come.
Georgia Manor is a freelance writer nationwide. If you’re searching for a safe and happy resident home for your loved ones, click here for information you can trust.