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 and movement is more important than ever.
A physical activity program geared to 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.
A senior living community such as The Reutlinger, that offers multiple levels of care, is perfect in being able to tailor exercise opportunities to a wide-range of residents.
The stimulation of our mind is also of great importance as we age. We want to be sure that we keep learning, stay interested in life, and create.
Listen to music. Music is a language that can express the inexpressible. The emotional and spiritual effects of music can be profound. Happy music can lift us up, and calm music can relax us.
Paint. Spring is a time when nature begins to reveal new colors. So why not work with some colors of your own. Take some time to paint something you find beautiful be it a landscape, a still life or the people around you.
Meditate or pray. Meditation and prayer can have a powerful effect on a person’s spirit whether they are looking to simply appreciate life more or connect to something greater. Psychologists say that meditation and prayer reduce the stress of daily life, helps a person’s sense of self-control and even makes them more pleasant to be around.
At The Reutlinger Community, our residents find comfort from our onsite spiritual leader, self-expression in our Discovering the Artist Within program, joy through music therapy, and lovely grounds to awaken their senses. For more information call Andrea Campisi, Director of Admissions and Marketing at (925) 964-2062.