Wednesday, May 30, 2018 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day!
To celebrate, let’s talk a little about what we do to keep our friends and community healthy and fit.
Here at Mt. Hood Adult Day Center, we offer a variety of clubs and activities for participants to enjoy. Many clubs focus on cognitive stimulation, physical health and therapeutic benefits, while others focus on leisure and fun. Our clubs that focus on physical exercise provide participants with a little bit of everything.
Seated stretching is a large group activity that is offered every day before lunch. Participants engage in seated exercises lead by a caregiver. Stretching before lunch increases blood circulation, improves range of motion and also helps participants work up an appetite. Many of the benefits of our clubs centered around physical exercise include improvement in motor skills, socialization and fun.
Groove & Fit
Groove and fit and club meets a few times a week. Caregivers lead participants in a variety of exercises that work different muscle groups, balance, and strength. One of the most popular group exercises is the parachute. While this club uses hand and eye coordination, it also helps with strengthening the upper body. Not only does it get their heart rates up, it brings back reminiscent memories and a lot of laughter. This activity takes a large group which gets everyone together to have a good time.
Mt. Hood Adult Day Center has the benefit of using a gym space located within Clear Creek Business Park. This club meets 1x/week. Participants walk to the gym, play games, exercise and walk back to the center. Participating in seated sport activities at open gym in turn gives them a little bit more of a vigorous workout than other physical activities we offer. This club also allows a little bit more of competitiveness due to the sport-themed nature. Benefits pertaining to open gym club include increase in physical activity, team sports (basketball, seated volley ball etc.), it offers a change of scenery by getting to leave the building as part of a large group activity. Anyone who is physically capable can participate in this activity, but some participants may enjoy traveling to the gym as spectators.
Check out this Article from Agingcare.com to see many more benefits of physical activity….
How Seniors Can Benefit from Adopting an Exercise Regimen
Last Updated 3.21.2018
The benefits of physical activity for people of all ages are often touted, but is it safe for seniors to exercise? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, almost all older people can benefit from more physical activity. In fact, regular exercise prevents chronic disease, improves mood and lowers chances of injury.
As we age, our bodies take a little longer to repair themselves, but moderate physical activity is good for people of all ages and ability levels. In fact, for most people, the benefits of exercising regularly far outweigh the risks. Even older individuals with chronic illnesses can find ways to work out safely. Many medical conditions can be improved through physical exercise, including Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, heart disease, diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure and obesity.
Benefits of Physical Activity
Regular exercise provides a variety of health benefits, including improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar management, reduced amounts of lipids in the blood, better bone and joint health, and long-term preservation of neuro-cognitive function.
Other positive effects of physical activity include:
- Boosted Immune Function. A healthy, strong body fights off infection and disease more easily and more quickly. Rather than sapping energy reserves entirely, recovery from an illness will take less of a toll on the body if the person exercises regularly.
- Better Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function.Frequent physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease and reduces blood pressure. Strong lungs and airways and a healthy heart and vascular system allow the body to function properly and more efficiently clear out and destroy any invaders that can make us sick.
- Strong Bones.Exercise protects against bone loss. Higher bone density reduces the risk of osteoporosis and lowers the risk of falls and broken bones. While men do lose some bone mass as they age, post-menopausal women are particularly susceptible and can lose as much as 2 percent bone mass each year. Research done at Tufts University shows that strength training can dramatically reduce this loss, restore bones, and contribute to better balance and less fractures.
- Improved Gastrointestinal Function.Regular exercise helps boost the metabolism, promotes the efficient elimination of waste and encourages digestive health. Physical activity is an excellent “treatment” for people who suffer from slow digestion and constipation.
- Protection Against Chronic Conditions.Physical activity lowers the risk of developing serious conditions and can actually minimize some symptoms after certain conditions have already developed. For example, exercise is vital for helping individuals with conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s disease to maintain their balance and coordination and extend their functional independence.
A consistent exercise schedule is also associated with decreased mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults. In addition, a study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that seniors who exercised experienced improvements in functional reach and balance and reduced the participants’ fears of falling.
-Alisha Van Lom, Program Director