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Senior Fitness in West Seattle

Fitness is a big part of life at Daystar Retirement Villagebecause regular exercise has a big impact on every resident's life. While you may think of exercise as merely a way to keep your weight in check, in reality getting fit and staying active does far more! Scientific studies have found that exercising an average of 150 minutes a week will help your balance, improve arthritis, and fight Alzheimer's, as well as many other benefits to your body and mind. While 150 minutes may sound like a lot of movement if you break it down it's only about 21 minutes a day. Whether you're in top shape or chair-bound you'll quickly find that a regular exercise regime makes you feel better, move easier, and think clearer because fitness is one of the keys to a better life.

At Daystar each resident can choose from a wide variety of activities designed to improve your life. If you're thinking of a boring half hour spent on a treadmill  you'll be nicely surprised at the different ways you can enjoy getting fit and staying that way!

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4 Key Exercise Areas

There are four key exercise areas you should work on in order to get and stay in shape. Each routine will enhance your life in different ways. By focusing on each of these types of movement throughout the week it won't be long before you see the results. The fitness activities available at Daystar Retirement Village are all designed to help in one or more of these areas, so let's take a closer look at each type of exercise and its benefits before going into the specific activities:

Endurance Exercise

Endurance exercise is sometimes referred to as cardio-respiratory because it increases your heart rate as well as your breathing. Endurance exercise can help:

  • Lower blood pressure because it aids circulation
  • Make your heart healthier
  • Increase metabolism
  • Breathe easier

When we talk about endurance we don't mean running a marathon; endurance exercise is any type of aerobic such as walking or even dancing.

Strength Training

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According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine strength training for seniors can combat frailty and weakness as it helps build muscle mass. It can also reduce the risk of the following:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart disease
  • Type two diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Strength training can also help you with:

  • Lose weight
  • Feel and look better
  • Increase flexibility

Balance Exercise

The biggest benefit of balance exercises for seniors is the prevention of falls. It also improves reaction times and coordination, adds muscle mass, strengthens your bones, and improves brain function.

Flexibility Movements

Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and give you a better range of motion. It improves elasticity, so it helps lower back pain as well as arthritis. Flexibility will help your balance, increase your circulation and energy, and make you less susceptible to falls.

Types of Exercise Activities

While there are all sorts of activities you can participate in at Daystar Retirement Village, each person will be individually evaluated for their personal needs and goals. That way each resident has recommendations for fitness activities they can enjoy without worry. Most fitness activities are done in groups so it's also a great way to socialize with your friends and neighbors, too! Here are some of the fitness activities you can enjoy at Daystar as you improve your health and quality of life. You should try to participate in all four areas of exercise. Some of these activities listed below will fall into more than one category:

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Walking

Walking is one of the best exercises for any age, and seniors who are ambulatory will especially enjoy a daily walk. Start out at a comfortable pace and go as far as you're able, then up the pace and distance gradually. Walkng boosts your brain activity and is a great way to socialize with your friends, too.

Swimming

Swimming is an excellent choice of exercise because the buoyancy of water supports your joints and can reduce pain. As with all exercise, don't overdo it when you're beginning! Swimming can increase:

  • Muscle strength
  • Balance
  • Mobility

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics are especially good for seniors who are chair bound because the buoyancy allows you to be more mobile. Like swimming, water aerobics takes the stress off your joints and gives you more mobility. Basically you can do everything you would do in a regular aerobics routine but it's easier because the water takes the weight off your body.

Yoga

Yoga (even chair Yoga) should be top on your list of exercise because the benefits are too numerous to list. However a few ways Yoga helps:

 

>>Find out more about the Power of Yoga<<

 

Cardio

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Cardio is basically any type of exercise that raises your heart rate, so if you prefer your exercise on gym equipment or in a game look for machines that boost your beat. Ellipticals, treadmills, and cross country machines are good examples of gym machines that will give you a cardio workout. Likewise, golf, balloon volleyball, and similar games will give you a great workout, too.

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy (PT) doesn't sound like exercise but it is! PT is designed to strengthen a specific area that's been injured, so if you're doing PT make sure you continue the routines and follow your therapist's recommendations in between visits.

Zumba

Zumba put simply is moving to music so it can cover all four areas of exercise. It can also be done from a chair so it's a perfect fit for many seniors. Because you'll learn routines it boosts your brain, too. Zumba aids in heart health, can lower blood pressure, boosts your balance, lets you stretch, and improves balance. You can also socialize while you're doing it!

Tai Chi

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Tai Chi (even Chair Chi) is a series of poses, similar to yoga. Again, it's a perfect exercise for seniors because it improves balance, flexibility, and strength while clearing your mind and improving your memory. As a bonus, tai chi can be performed at any speed so you can also go faster and use it for endurance training. According to Harvard University tai chi can alleviate pain, ease arthritis, reduce blood pressure, and lower your risk of falls because it improves your balance. Because of the variety of poses you can do tai chi while sitting if you're chair bound or unsure of your balance.

Learn more about Tai Chi

 

Dancing

Dancing doesn't sound like exercise but it is! Dancing can improve your balance, make you more flexible, improve your strength, and if you kick up your heels for hours you'll have endurance exercise, too!

Resistance bands

Resistance bands may seem like a simple routine but in fact they do a great job of strengthening your muscles. Using bands is a low impact way of gaining strength and flexibility so you might want to include them in your daily routine.

Stretching

Stretching doesn't sound like exercise either but in fact it improves your flexibility and balance. Go slow and enjoy yourself while you stretch and you may be amazed at how well it works, especially if you have arthritis.

No information about fitness would be complete without a word about diet because what you eat is the fuel for your energy level. Make sure your food choices are healthy and balanced so your body runs efficiently while you're gaining strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance! At Daystar Retirement Village it's easy to refuel properly because of the wide variety of healthy food choices, so remember to take it easy on sweets and go for the proteins and vegetables as often as you can.

While we're talking about fitness remember your brain needs regular workouts, too! Feel free to play board games, cards, and puzzles, and read a variety of subjects. Last but not least, remember to socialize while you're getting fit because that keeps your emotional health fit, too!

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