One out of every three adults over 65 years old falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for older adults with dementia, the risk of falling is three times higher than those with no cognitive impairment, according to the AARP Bulletin.
However, research supports the notion that many of the physiological changes related to aging – such as loss of balance – can be prevented or postponed with regular exercise. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that many senior living communities are making comprehensive health and wellness programs available to their residents.
“We’re seeing residents increase their mobility, endurance and balance, and improve their range of motion and fitness levels,” said Katie Westberg, national director of life enrichment at The Goodman Group, a company that has developed a new fitness program for its senior living and healthcare communities.
Additionally, Westberg said participants feel better and are having fun, showing quick results to their overall well-being. “Many of the residents involved in our program start seeing long-lasting and significant strength training benefits within an eight- to 16-week period.”
Expert physical therapists and board certified geriatric specialists are offering some tips for older adults looking to improve their well-being and restore vigor:
• Engage in exercises that can improve your core strength, balance and cardiovascular health. If you live in a senior living community, inquire about on-site programs. Additionally, many community centers and health clubs conduct exercise classes designed specifically for senior health.
• Invest in a stationary bike. It’s easy to incorporate this activity into your day while watching TV, listening to music or talking to your family, and pedaling lowers blood pressure, according to AARP.
• Consult your physician before getting started. Your exercise routine should take into account your current health level and functionality as well as your physical needs.
• Stick to it. Results may come quickly, but a long-term health benefit requires commitment.
For more information about senior fitness and health programs, visit thegoodmangroup.com.