Older adults across the country are increasing their physical activity in new ways. According to Physical Activity and Health, A Report of the Surgeon General, “Older adults can obtain significant health benefits with a moderate amount of physical activity.” Benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease, improved stamina and muscle strength, and a lowered chance of falling and fracturing bones. Additionally, physical activity can foster improvements in mood and a sense of well-being. Senior living communities are leading the way, offering an array of exercise and health programs that encourage residents to enhance their physical fitness.
One group of luxury retirement communities across the country offers fitness programs for all levels. From aquatics classes to tai chi, residents of Classic Residence by Hyatt communities are encouraged to engage in physical activity.
With the influx of new exercise and diet recommendations, older adults are taking advantage of new services and educational opportunities. For example, residents have shown great interest in tai chi, a martial arts form that enhances balance and body awareness through slow and precise body movements. Tai chi significantly reduces the risk of falls among older adults by nearly 50 percent, states a study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association by the National Institute on Aging.
“Members of the group have noted several health benefits: increased muscular strength, improved balance, better memory, more manageable hypertension control, and a general feeling of well-being,” said resident Beatrice Rose, M.D., M.P.H.
A personalized, three-day-a-week resistance training program helped resident Fred Donnelly to lower his body fat composition from 21 to 10 percent in one year. “The fitness program has enabled me to maintain my weight and my good health,” Donnelly noted.
Diet is another essential aspect of overall health. For many older adults, food just isn’t as enjoyable as it once was. The usual methods of enhancing flavors, such as adding salt and butter, are off limits for those on restricted diets.
To offer residents great-tasting and healthy food, the luxury retirement company has partnered with Dr. Susan Schiffman from the Taste and Smell Lab at Duke University to develop a natural way to enhance the flavor of food. The result is a breakthrough in cooking technique, Classically Pleasing Cuisine, which uses all-natural ingredients to enhance food’s aroma, flavor and tenderness with no added salt.
With a combination of good exercise, healthy eating habits and routine health screenings, older adults are minimizing their risk for illness and improving their overall health.