Posted on: September 13, 2012
The relationship between physical fitness and
wellness is one of the most researched areas of aging. As a key
component of the whole person wellness model, the physical
dimension encourages participation in activities that promote
cardiovascular endurance, muscular strengthening and flexibility.
Being physically active is vital to maintaining health and
independence as we age. But, according to the National Institute of
Health, only 25 percent of people aged 65 to 74
say they engage in regular physical activity. And while
experts say people age 85 and older can benefit from exercise, only
11 percent report being active.
It's Never Too Late
The good news is that older adults can become fit at any age and
reap the benefits. An article in the American Family
Physician said: "Regular exercise has been shown to provide a
myriad of benefits in older adults including improvements in
cardiovascular, metabolic, endocrine and psychologic health." Most
importantly, the article said it is never too late for older adults
to benefit from physical activity.
One of the greatest advantages of living at a Vi community is
the comprehensive lifestyle programs that make it easy to
participate in fitness activities. From yoga to low-impact
exercises, as well as fitness centers and pools, the choices are
endless. But, fitness can take many forms. For example, Vi at
Bentley Village recently celebrated Senior Health and Fitness Day
with a kayak outing on one of their lakes.
"One resident who just turned 90 couldn't get in the kayak fast
enough," said Lifestyle Director Siobhan Mangan. "Many of the
residents have also tried scuba diving," added Mangan. "Our
residents place a great deal of focus on their physical
Fitness For The Ages
"It's not uncommon for them to be playing golf or tennis in the
morning and swimming or visiting the fitness center in the
afternoon," explained Mangan. "We do have a 'Three O'Clock Club',
which is a group of residents that work out together each
afternoon. A resident recently told me, 'young people think of
fitness as a way to stay fit, we think of it as a way to stay
healthy,' " she added.
For older adults who have not been active in recent years, one
of the easiest ways to ease back into activity is walking - the
most basic exercise there is, yet highly touted by the American
Heart Association and other health experts. Whatever fitness path
you choose, remember that achieving optimum wellness is a journey,
and it's never too late to take the first step.
about Wellness at Vi