Fitness and Physical Therapy – Keys to Successful Aging

By Carla Adamic, The Reutlinger Community
According to one expert on aging, “If exercise could be put in a pill, it would be the number one anti-
aging medicine and the number one anti-depression medicine.” Yes, exercise is essential at any age, but
for the elderly, activity is more important than ever.
An exercise plan that is geared for a senior’s individual ability can improve strength, energy, and
appetite. It also benefits cognitive abilities as well as providing a boost to mood and memory.
Gentle exercise programs, such as stretching are especially suited for seniors. These exercises improve
balance, range of motion, and coordination. The slow, fluid movements of exercise similar to Tai Chi
provide a sense of peace and relaxation while strengthening muscle control and balance.
Even seniors who use a wheelchair or who have limited mobility can exercise. Stretching exercises can
be done while in a chair, and the use of light hand weights can improve cardiovascular health and
muscle tone. Water exercise is excellent for the elderly.
For the more active senior, group activities such as line dancing and low-impact aerobics classes couple
a higher level of exercise with the inspiration of a social setting.
Find a senior center or senior living community that offers these types of activities and physical therapy
services. You goal is to maintain or regain your mobility as you age, especially if you are in a short term-
rehabilitation program.
There are exercise options for every senior’s ability level. Find a program that works and stick with it.
Find a senior living community with onsite physical therapy and a fitness center. You'll soon be happy
with the results. There are no age limits to fitness.
The Reutlinger Community welcomes your questions and visits. Please call 925.648.2800 or visit
www.rcjl.org.