As we age there are many emotional and physical transitions to cope with, and change is difficult, no matter how old you are. It’s natural to feel those losses. But if that sense of loss is balanced with positive ingredients, you have a recipe for staying healthy as you age.
“Regardless of underlying medical conditions the data is clear that the one thing that will increase the length and quality of life is exercise.”
Healthy aging means finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community. An active lifestyle as you age can help reduce physical illness and emotional distress and increase longevity and quality of life. It is never too late to start to exercise. Regular physical activity helps you look and feel younger and stay independent longer. It also lowers your risk for a variety of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and obesity. The mood benefits of exercise can be just as great in the elderly as for the youth. And did you know that exercise and stretching that is appropriate for your ability, will reduce falls and increase balance. At Idylwood Care Center, their Medical Director, Dr. Silver, observed about their residents and exercise, “Regardless of underlying medical conditions the data is clear that the one thing that will increase the length and quality of life is exercise.”
Motivation to exercise as you age can be challenged by the loss of strength and stamina, medical conditions and lack of social support. Communities play an important role in promoting health and wellness. Recently Greg Parnell, Crestwood’s Health and Wellness Facilitator and Zumba Zen Master, visited Idylwood Care Center to work with their new Zumba instructor, Elsa DeIxta. Residents and staff alike had a great time moving their bodies to a playlist of music featuring oldies and Latin classics.
“Zumba has shown to help create new neural pathways and new brain cell growth reversing signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and improving physical, psychological and emotional health,” said Greg. He adapted the class to be done in a chair or bed for those that are bed bound or physically disabled. “As I visit each of our unique campuses, the one thing I know for sure is when more staff are involved in participating in a Zumba class, it inspires more of our clients to participate. Zumba and exercise are a part of our Wellness Initiative and when we get moving together, it feels like one big community coming together, creating an organizational wellness landscape. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do Zumba, as long as you are moving and smiling.”
Cindy Mataraso, Director of Operations