It is a familiar refrain from doctors, fitness experts and nutritional coaches – exercise is good for you! While we may all know this is sound advice, we may not be aware that this advice becomes even more important as we age. Studies show that regular physical activity and exercise can help seniors improve both their mental and physical health.
There are many reasons why people may slow down and become more sedentary during their golden years. Health problems, pain issues or concerns about falling could all lead seniors to reduce their daily activities. However, these concerns actually highlight the reason why exercise is so important. Regular exercise is beneficial for your mood, your mind, your memory and your strength – all of which drive you to continue your cycle of staying active and engaged. For adults age 65 and over, it is suggested that they:
- Participate in moderate intensity activity (such as brisk walking) for 30 minutes per day, five days a week.
- Take part in muscle strengthening exercises at least two days per week.
- Do activities that improve balance (such as standing on one foot) three days per week.
To help support an active lifestyle, many seniors choose to move into a senior community. Within senior communities, activities and programs may vary, and seniors have many choices. To make those choices easier, it helps to understand the goals of the programs and the benefits of the activities.
Benefits of Senior Activities
Kicking off and maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge at any age. And for seniors, there are many ways this endeavor can become complicated. Some seniors share that they feel discouraged about exercising because of things like health problems, concerns about safety, lack of knowledge about fitness programs and lack of understanding about how to set goals. In a supportive setting, like a senior community, there are fitness experts and professionals ready to help beginners get started and to support residents at every level and stage of their fitness journey so they are able to reap all the benefits. For seniors, benefits of an active lifestyle include:
- Disease Prevention. Even light exercise can help to prevent common diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Reduced Risk of Falls. Exercise helps older adults to improve their flexibility and strength, which leads to improved balance and coordination.
- Social Connection. Maintaining social connections as we age helps to prevent feelings of loneliness and depression, while also giving us a sense of purpose. Exercise is twice as fun when it is done with friends!
- Improved Mental Health. Exercise releases endorphins, which act as a stress reliever and help people to feel happy and satisfied. Regular exercise also helps create improved sleep habits, which supports brain function.
- Enhanced Cognitive Function. Participating in regular physical activities lowers the risk of dementia and helps to improve fine-motor skills.
Vibrant Life® & ISL Inspires Program
Many senior communities develop programs to encourage activity, exercise and daily engagement. These programs are proven to benefit cognition, mental health and emotional well-being for older adults. Some programs offer residents choices, while others take a more one-size-fits-all approach.
For residents at Mount Prospect Senior Living, the Vibrant Life® program is a way to fill each day with fun. This innovative program takes a personalized approach to creating each resident’s daily calendar. Residents, their family and friends can use the program to add adventure, try new hobbies, follow familiar pursuits and ensure each resident meets his or her goals. There are seven pillars of Vibrant Life®:
- Be Inspired
- Be Well
- Be Challenged
- Be Adventurous
- Be Family
- Be Social
- Be Connected
The Vibrant Life® program ensures each resident looks forward to each day because their daily schedule is created around their interests, routines, abilities, goals and preferences. In addition to a daily routine, community involvement is a great way for seniors to stay active and engaged. The Integral Senior Living ISL Inspires program partners with local charities and organizations to find ways to give back. One such charity partner is the 4MOM Charity, which raises money to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Choosing a Senior Community
At Mount Prospect Senior Living, we want our residents to feel at home. Our community is designed with active, engaged seniors in mind. Our residents enjoy their independence, while knowing our expertly trained staff is there for support. Mount Prospect’s Wellness Center is specialized with our residents in mind and is equipped with senior-specific exercise equipment. Residents are invited to participate in stimulating group exercises, as well as customized individual workouts. We offer assisted living and memory care apartments to fit every need, and our team is here to help you make your new space into a new home!
Want to learn more about our community and services? Contact Mount Prospect Senior Living today to have your questions answered and to schedule a private tour!