Move it or lose it! There is more than one way to interpret this phrase, but in terms of wellness, it gets right down to the heart of the matter. Physical activity is essential to keeping our bodies functioning at their optimal abilities—no matter our age. Make that activity fun rather than drudgery, and the results are incredible!
At Lutheran Hillside Village, residents in all living settings have access to creative ways to exercise, which helps motivate them to keep going back for more. In the health center, residents who need physical therapy enjoy participating in sports with the Nintendo Wii system. They can play tennis and golf, bowl, and much more—all while getting a good workout and having a great time.
At Bethel Place, an assisted living neighborhood for people with early to mid-stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other related memory impairments, residents enjoy chair dancing, using their feet and arms to dance while seated. Their kicks and arm movements improve mobility and range of motion.
Residents in independent and assisted living neighborhoods have access to a variety of dance styles to keep them moving, including ballet, jazz and jitterbug. According to Activities Coordinator Connie Hillier, line dancing is a great overall workout. “It combines physical and mental activity as residents memorize the steps and execute them in sync with other dancers,” she says.
Fitness classes get participants down on the floor and working out with exercise balls. “The improved flexibility and strength after a few sessions are amazing,” says Activities Coordinator Paulette Hartmann. “You can see the difference almost immediately.”
Lutheran Hillside Village recently hosted a three-day Wellness Academy that combined health education presentations, healthy gourmet lunches and afternoon exercise classes including tai chi and yoga. The academy, which will be offered on a quarterly basis, was designed with a holistic wellness approach, combining education, nutrition and exercise for a total mind-body experience.
Remaining active both physically and mentally is a key element of a healthy lifestyle. So get moving, get creative and have fun! It will keep you feeling younger, fitter and better able to enjoy life! iBi