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Staying Active and Social in Your Golden Years

Maintaining an active lifestyle as you age is a key ingredient for a fulfilling and healthy life. Engaging in physical activities that elevate your heart rate and get your blood flowing not only triggers the release of those delightful endorphins but also boosts your energy levels. For older adults, cardiovascular exercises are particularly vital for maintaining optimal health and a strong heart.

Yet, the challenge lies in maintaining the discipline to prioritize your health and adhere to regular fitness routines. Thankfully, there’s a practical solution that can help motivate individuals within retirement communities – group fitness classes.

Getting fit with music and fun

Exercising alongside fellow retirees offers more than just a chance to stay fit; it’s a fantastic way to socialize and enjoy yourself. “Whether you’re 20 or 80, exercising in a group is more enjoyable than going solo,” affirms Beth Ehlers, an exercise physiologist at Infinity Rehab and the wellness director at Ovation Heartwood Preserve, a luxurious retirement community in Omaha.

Beth is at the helm of crafting and supervising health and wellness programs for Ovation’s assisted living and memory care communities. Residents gather three times a week for engaging 45-minute exercise sessions, adaptable to both standing and sitting positions. The diverse classes encompass a range of activities, from indoor and outdoor walking at various paces, to strength and balance exercises, ballroom dancing, yoga, and even drumming.

To amplify the workout experience, Beth curates playlists featuring hits from the ’50s to the ’80s, catering to participants’ preferences. Notably, her Elvis-inspired playlist has become a crowd favorite, though any rhythmic song can do the trick.

“I look for upbeat music that gets them moving and humming along,” she explains. “It injects vitality into the sessions and elevates the enjoyment factor.”

Benefits of group fitness classes

Regular physical activity, as endorsed by the National Council on Aging, yields a host of benefits, including averting bone loss, alleviating osteoarthritis discomfort, staving off chronic diseases, bolstering immunity, and uplifting mood.

Beyond the evident physical advantages, participating in health and wellness classes with fellow seniors fosters a sense of community and companionship, particularly beneficial for newcomers and those who are single.

A poignant example involves a 91-year-old resident who had recently lost his wife to a heart condition shortly after moving into Ovation Heartwood Preserve’s assisted living community. Initially relying on a walker due to sciatica pain, he decided to give a physical therapy class a shot. The transformation was remarkable; he now attends the class daily, having formed meaningful connections with his peers.

Beth remarks, “The walker is a thing of the past. He strides independently, at an impressive pace. Engaging in these activities has not only given him a purpose but has significantly enhanced his emotional and mental well-being.”

To learn more about these enriching opportunities or to schedule a tour, contact us at (402) 999-7900 or explore our website at OvationHeartwoodPreserve.com. Stay active, connected, and vibrant in your golden years!

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