Staying Active for the Health of It

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’d agree that the key to longevity is a sedentary lifestyle. For most of us, living longer and healthier is the result of staying active.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the health benefits associated with regular physical activity for older adults provide strong evidence of the following:

  • Lower risk of early death.
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Lower risk of stroke.
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure.
  • Lower risk of adverse blood lipid profile.
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
  • Lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Prevention of weight gain.
  • Prevention of falls.
  • Improved cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness.
  • Improved cognitive function.

SourcePoint offers a variety of options for staying or getting in shape, whether you’re looking to exercise your body, your mind, or both.

“Three components to aging well are staying physically active, socially engaged, and learning new things,”

said Laura Smith, assistant administrator of SourcePoint’s enrichment center.

“It does not matter what age or fitness level you are; when you add physical activity to your lifestyle, you can improve your well-being. And physical activity in a group or social setting engages more parts of the brain.”

Smith said SourcePoint offers a range of fitness programs suitable for any fitness level. Classes have varied intensity levels, so members can make informed decisions on what class to choose, and yoga and tai chi classes can be modified to do from a chair. Fitness levels are categorized as follows:

  • Level 1 classes are low intensity, with a focus to maintain or improve balance, body control, range of motion, and joint health.
  • Level 2 classes are low to moderate intensity, with a focus to maintain or improve cardio endurance, muscle tone, balance, agility, and flexibility.
  • Level 3 classes are moderate to high intensity, with a focus to maintain or improve aerobic endurance, agility, and flexibility. Expect 25 to 30 minutes of cardio work.
  • Level 4 classes are high intensity, with a focus to maintain or improve higher-level cardio endurance, strength training, and agility. Expect 30 to 40 minutes of cardio work.

“Physical activity is important, but we hear from members that the social connections they make are most meaningful,”

Smith said.
Members also can stimulate their brains, from learning how to play the guitar or piano to creative writing, photography, and presentations. And Smith said programs, such as Matter of Balance and Healthy U, provide evidence-based tools to manage changes and chronic conditions that aging may bring. To learn more, contact SourcePoint at (740) 363-6677 or visit our online registration system.

Exercise is vital to healthy aging, and those who are homebound don’t have to miss out on the opportunity to stay fit.

“Even if you are working out at home, you can notice a difference after just a little bit of exercising,”

said Dave Lewis of Fit Fam Personal Training, who provides in-home training sessions for those unable to get to the gym.

“I worked with one lady who was falling regularly. I started working with her twice a week and she’s has fallen only once since.”

Lewis said personal training is exactly that—personal, so he does an evaluation for each client before crafting an exercise program to meet their needs.”It’s never too late to start, and we incorporate safe strengthening exercises for all older adults in our training to improve overall balance, endurance, and strength,” Lewis said.

This article was reprinted from the May/June 2017 My Communicator Newspaper.