The Ackerly at Sherwood is proud to offer PrimeFit, a nationally branded program and leader in senior fitness and wellness exclusive to Leisure Care communities. Learn more about the benefits for fitness for seniors, and how you can join one of our weekly Qi Gong fitness classes.
Why Fitness is Important for Seniors
Physical activity and exercise is important for people of all ages, but fitness has several unique benefits for seniors. When it comes to aging well, it is crucial for seniors to stay active. In addition to the benefits we all experience from exercise, like a healthier heart, stronger bones, and increased range of movement and flexibility, seniors who are physically active gain additional benefits. Seniors who exercise regularly have a reduced risk of chronic disease, increased mobility and independence, and even have a lower risk of dementia.
Take a closer look at some of the benefits of physical activity for seniors:
A decreased risk of falling
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital visits – and they can lead to serious physical injury. Physical exercise can improve balance and fight the muscle atrophy that comes with age and often leads to falls.
Improved recovery from illness or injury
A healthy and strong body fights off infection and decreases recovery time from illness or injury. Studies have shown that seniors who exercise regularly heal from wounds 25% faster than those who do not. This can reduce medical costs and drastically improve quality of life.
Reduced risk of disease or chronic conditions
Seniors who are physically fit are at a decreased risk for chronic conditions that can result in sickness, injury, or death. The National Institute of Aging reports that seniors who regularly exercise can delay or even totally prevent chronic illnesses like cancer, stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
Improved cognitive health and a reduced risk of dementia
There is a key connection between physical health and cognitive health. Researchers believe that physical fitness and regular exercise may stave off the symptoms of dementia. A recent study found that seniors who walked three times a week were 35% less likely to develop dementia than those who did not exercise at all.
Improved quality of life
Because exercise releases endorphins, ‘feel-good’ hormones, that boost mood and alleviate stress, seniors who exercise experience not only physical benefits but also psychological benefits. Regular exercise can help alleviate symptoms of depression and improve overall mood.
Benefits of Qi Gong for Seniors
When it comes to seniors exercising, consistency is more important than intensity – which is why Qi Gong may be a great way for seniors to stay active and fit. Pronounced “chee gong”, Qi Gong means energy cultivation and is an ancient health and wellness practice with origins in China. Dating back more than 4,000 years Qi Gong has been a center of Chinese culture, coordinating body, breath, and mind. Using the graceful and powerful movements of martial arts, Qi Gong helps create circulation, balance, strength, and coordination – all essential fitness elements for seniors.
“I have been teaching Qi Gong for over 13 years and I have seen my students gain better balance, coordination, and build strength in their legs without going to the gym.” Nate Guadagni, PrimeFit Qi Gong Instructor
Based on repetitions of very precise movements, Qi Gong can energize and rejuvenate people of all ages. Regular practice can bring deep strengthening and conditioning affecting a variety of bodily systems. Promoting energy in the body by opening and twisting energy channels, Qi Gong is centered around deep breathing and a variety of movements that are perfected over time.
We would love for you to join us for our new Qi Gong class! Join us every Wednesday at 1:00 pm at The Ackerly at Sherwood. All skill levels welcome! For more information, contact Nate Guadagni at 503-217-2345.
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