Living a healthy, active lifestyle is important at every age and stage of life. At St. Anthony’s, we encourage our residents to stay active by offering a variety of resources and activities to make exercising accessible and enjoyable.
Why Senior Fitness is Important
Physical activity is beneficial to adults of all ages. Those who stay active throughout adulthood — especially later in life — can find themselves physically and mentally healthier. Seniors who maintain regular physical fitness practices find:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Stronger muscles and less joint pain
- Ease of chronic health symptoms
- Better mental and emotional health
- Lower risk of falls and other injuries (and easier recovery if an injury does take place)
Staying active plays a vital role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but only half of adults are getting the physical exercise their body needs to prevent illness effectively. Because physical activity is so valuable for the health and well-being of our residents, we at St. Anthony’s make sure our residents have numerous options available to find an ideal exercise routine.
Make sure to consult your physician before taking on any new physical activity and develop a plan that is best suited for your unique needs.
Ways to Stay Active in Assisted Living
Whether you are making the choice for yourself or a loved one, moving to assisted living is a big decision. We want to help ease the transition by providing our residents with the care they need while enjoying as much independence as possible. Fitness is a large contributor to maintaining that independence, even after transitioning from independent living to assisted living. Here are three ways seniors can stay active — and live life to the fullest! — while in our senior living community:
1. Walk the Campus and Gardens
Simply taking regular walks can work wonders for your physical and mental health. Walking is a low-stress cardiovascular activity that lowers disability risk, improves muscle strength, and gets you out and socializing with fellow residents.
Walking is also an excellent activity for enjoying our beautiful, gated campus and community gardens with visiting friends and family. If you are the friend or relative of a senior in our assisted living community, invite your loved one out for a walk to encourage exercise and positivity.
2. Participate in Community Fitness Classes
For residents who prefer more structured fitness opportunities, we are proud to offer the fully-equipped St. Thomas More Fitness Center with accessible classes at varying intensity levels. There’s something for everyone with a full calendar of classes and events!
We believe there is true strength in numbers, which is why all of our fitness classes occur in the community with fellow seniors. Everyone is much more likely to maintain a fitness program when there is a social support element involved. Not sure what class is right for you? Our staff is ready to help you find the right fit for your needs and capabilities.
If you’re newer to St. Anthony’s and don’t have a community of seniors to attend classes with, you can invite a family member to join you as you adjust to the community and get to know more like-minded residents. You never have to feel alone in your physical wellness journey — our staff and the other seniors in assisted living are eager to empower you.
Think exercise ends in memory care? Think again! Wellness is a key signature in how we approach memory care here at St. Anthony’s!
3. Practice Safe Exercises at Home
For those who prefer to exercise in private or who may have a more difficult time getting up and about regularly, there are plenty of low-impact exercises you can perform on your own in the comfort of your independent living or assisted living apartment.
For those with more limited physical mobility, chair workouts are a great way to stay fit without the risk of overexertion or injury. We even offer chair workout classes at the fitness center here in St. Anthony’s for those who want to learn a routine they can continue practicing on their own.
Seniors looking to stay physically fit and healthy should incorporate activities that support strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular health. A few safe at-home options include:
- Standing and sitting without using hands or arms
- Walking heel-to-toe
- Lifting very light weights while seated in a chair
- Yoga or pilates
- Pacing the length of your apartment while carrying light weights (or, something right in your pantry: soup cans!)
For more information on physical activities for older adults and various fitness goals, read the CDC’s guide for physical activity and healthy aging. Always consult your doctor first and foremost before starting a new exercise routine.
How to Stay Safe While Exercising
Safety is of the utmost importance while staying active, as fitness-related injuries may limit your future exercise capabilities. Follow these simple tips to stay safe and prevent injuries while improving your overall health through regular physical activity:
- Check with your physician first. Getting your doctor’s thumbs-up is important before starting an exercise routine, so you can make sure you’re working out safely.
- Know your limits. Stop a physical activity if you experience light-headedness, chest pain, or other discomforts.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, after, and during your workout
- Dress appropriately. Wear easily removable layers to keep warm and cool off as needed, especially if walking outside in the fall or winter months.
- Cool down. Finish any particularly strenuous exercise with light activity such as walking or stretching
- Exercise with a friend. We all know the power of the “buddy system,” and exercising with a friend can help you stay safe and have a more enjoyable workout. If our residents prefer to exercise alone in their apartment, alerting our St. Anthony’s staff can ensure someone is ready to assist in the event of a fall or injury.
Can You Stay Physically Independent in Assisted Living?
Assisted living does not mean sacrificing your autonomy or independence. Actually, it’s the opposite! Within our robust senior living community, residents live life to the fullest! Our assisted living community goes further than just medical care, offering a wide range of amenities and an atmosphere that balances supporting your needs with empowering your independence.
Our trained staff will work with you to create a care plan to match your desired lifestyle, providing all the support you need to stay independent. Contact us today to learn more and discuss whether assisted living is right for you or your loved one.