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Keeping Fit into your 90’s

by Nanci Levy | Aug 05, 2016

balance class2 - 8-5-16Most people know that regular physical activity is good for you. What some may not realize is that older adults benefit from regular exercise as well. Unfortunately, inactivity increases with age. This inactivity may be due to the loss of strength and stamina in older adults, but this loss of strength or stamina attributed to aging may be due in part to their reduced physical activity. It’s sort of a “chicken and egg” thing, which came first?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, studies have shown that older adults can obtain significant health benefits with even a moderate amount of physical activity, preferably daily. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of falling and fracturing bones, it can reduce blood pressure, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve the feeling of well-being. Exercise also helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, and improves stamina and muscle strength. And, perhaps best of all, it can be fun!

But, what does exercising look like when you are in your 90’s? Well, the days of “step” aerobic classes, and long runs in the neighborhood may be over for most, but there are many other more gentle options. At Handmaker, residents can choose from a variety of physical activity programs every day except Saturday. These programs offer aerobic, strengthening and flexibility that are specifically designed for older adults. There is yoga, tai chi, chair exercise, and a new chair balance class. There is something for everyone.

And for those who prefer not to participate in an organized class, the long, air conditioned halls within Handmaker, fondly referred to as “Main Street”, provide the perfect space for long walks, without having to go outside in inclement weather. And on any given day, you will see many residents taking advantage of this. There is also a billiards table and table shuffleboard.

With all of this activity, Handmaker residents have many opportunities to keep up their strength and stamina. And a great number of those who participate are in their late 90’s, some even over 100. They must be doing something right!