July 2, 2014

Stay Active and Have Fun!

Morrison,-Bob-colorBy Bob Morrison and Mary Huebbe
Marketing & Development Director Ridgecrest Village

As a Certified Senior Advisor, I study ways to help improve the quality of life for seniors. This summer is a great time to find ways to become healthier while having fun at the same time. As we age, exercise benefits are even more numerous and rewarding. Here are some proven ideas that you should keep in mind as you are pursuing a complete fitness program:

IDEA #1: For good health, a good target for aerobic exercise is 30 minutes per day. However, sessions of as little as 10 minutes each (if you do three per day) have been found to create positive results. Vary types of exercises to target all of your major muscle groups.

A few minutes of warm-ups before regular exercise will simply loosen up the muscles you’re about to use and get some extra blood flowing to them. A warm-up before stretching is also a good idea.

You don’t have to exercise all that often. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) says that excellent results can be achieved with 2 sessions per week of strength training and at least 3 days a week of aerobic exercise (walking, etc.).
Seniors don’t have to push too hard. For aerobic exercise, aim to work at a heart rate of about 60 to 70 percent of your target heart rate (220 minus your age). The “no pain, no gain” mentality is definitely not necessary for good results.

As we get older, most of us lose some of the flexibility in our joints. Regaining as much of this flexibility as we can is extremely beneficial. Stretching exercises even a few minutes a day can make a big difference.

After increasing your heart rate and the blood flow to your muscles, slow everything down again. Slowly bring your body to a more normal level before you stop.

IDEA #2: Earlier, the Chicago Tribune reported that Nintendo has become a sensation in retirement homes, and in a move that has surprised gamers and industry insiders, Nintendo marketed its game console directly to the AARP.

The surprise hit? Bowling. With the Wii’s emphasis on gentle motions, balance, and coordination, the game system disguises mild physical activity under a heap of outlandish fun. You can get all the enjoyment of a real bowling game without having to worry about throwing out your back while hauling around a heavy ball. You can even play couple’s
tennis without having to rent a court or risking a fall.

Come and find out how much fun it is to laugh and be challenged. Ridgecrest Village offers a tournament the second Tuesday of each month in Independent Living, then again at Oakwood Place our Assisted Living facility. They currently alternate between bowling and golf. Every weekday Ridgecrest has supervised instruction at 9:00 am for an hour. Our Physical Therapy department is using the Wii to promote better balance and stability. You can play Wii individually, or as a twosome or foursome team. The social aspect is an added benefit.

Doctors say that regular mild activity can protect the body as it ages and extend your life by strengthening bones and loosening joints. Mild exercise is even thought to decrease cellular aging in the brain. I hope you will give it a try. You may find out you will enjoy the game and the fellowship.

IDEA #3 “The secret to successful aging is ongoing mental stimulation” says Paul David Nussbaum, M.D., Professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in an address to the American Society on Aging.

Thanks to many residents of Ridgecrest Village partnering with Ridgecrest Foundation, the new Dakim Brain Fitness equipment is available at Ridgecrest Village. The touch-screen is easy to use and the games are enjoyable. There are five different levels of difficulty and the machine adapts to your level of skill as you use the program.

Every night new programs are automatically installed for the next day. They encourage 3 or 4 twenty minute sessions a week.
Anyone who tries it is sure to get pleasure from the games and brain teasers.

It is simple enough that any user can answer questions or help you get started. Once you try it, the process becomes easy to continue.

The results of trying these ideas in just a few short months will make the effort well worth it. An exercise program to improve your physical and mental health is something to plan on doing the rest of your life. And you are worth the effort!

Enjoy a fruitful life at Ridgecrest Village. Call Bob or Mary at 563-391-3430.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness