St. George Village Blog
Tag Archive: senior fitness
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
When it comes to good health, you can certainly feel it in your bones. That’s because your bones are alive. Every day, the body breaks down old bone and puts new bone in its place. While it is normal to lose some bone with age, too much bone loss can lead to osteoporosis.
What Is Osteoporosis?
With osteoporosis, the bones become weak and are more likely to break, especially those in the wrist, spine and hip. Because bone loss often happens over time and doesn’t hurt, many people have weak bones and don’t even know it. A broken bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis. It’s a good idea, therefore, to know the risk factors. These include:
• Poor Diet. Too little calcium can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Not enough vitamin D can also increase your risk. Vitamin D helps the body use the calcium in your diet.
• Not Enough Physical Activity. Not exercising and not being active for a long time can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Like muscles, bones become stronger—and stay stronger—with regular exercise.
• Body Weight. Being too thin makes you more likely to get osteoporosis.
• Smoking. Cigarettes can keep your body from using the calcium in your diet.
• Alcohol. People who drink a lot are more likely to get osteoporosis.
• Medicines. Certain medications can cause bone loss.
• Age. Your chances of getting osteoporosis increase as you get older.
• Gender. Women have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis because they have smaller bones than men and lose bone faster than men do. However, men can still develop osteoporosis as they age.
• Ethnicity. White and Asian women are most likely to get osteoporosis. However, people of all backgrounds are at risk.
• Family History. Having a close relative with osteoporosis may increase your risk.
What To Do About It
Since osteoporosis has no symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your bone health. If your doctor feels you’re at risk, he or she may order a bone density test. It’s quick, safe and painless. If your bone density test shows that your bones are weak, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and prescribe medication that can help.
For further information on osteoporosis and bone health, you can go to the website of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), or call toll free (877) 226-4267 and order a free publication on bone health.
Posted on March 6, 2015 by Stacy Anthony
This week, St. George Village members were entertained by a group of square dancing students from Queen of Angels Catholic School. The students curtseyed and bowed, allemanded, circled, do si doed, passed through, and swung their partners, showing how much fun square dancing can be!
Besides fun, did you know that square dancing offers other physical, mental and social benefits? Square dancing can help keep you fit by burning calories, lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol, strengthening weight-bearing bones and slowing bone loss, and more. This form of dance also keeps you on your mental toes by requiring you to react to the “calls” for changing movements and steps. Plus, square dancing requires teamwork, with each team of eight dancers depending on each other to keep the dance moving.
Thanks, Queen of Angels students, for showing us how much fun square dancing can be!
Posted on December 5, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
Santa’s Little Helpers know how important it is to stay active and eat well in order to stay healthy during the holiday season! Pictured here are some of the elves who live at St. George Village, getting in their workout (and having a good time doing it) at our indoor pool. Water aerobics, lap swimming or simple water-walking are all great ways to get in shape (or stay that way) at any age.
Kris Kringle himself would do well to follow the St. George Village Elves’ example!
Posted on March 14, 2014 by Stacy Anthony
According to renowned aquatics expert, U.S. Masters Swimming and Synchro Champion Dr. Jane Katz, water exercise is for everyone. “The magic of water works for everyone. All ages. All ability levels,” she states. “Whether in shape or overweight, workouts can be adapted to fit one’s needs.”
Because it is simultaneously buoyant and resistant, water gives people the ability to relax at the same time they stretch and strengthen their muscles. Pat Bollinger, an instructor of water aerobics at St. George Village, says this benefit is especially helpful for anyone who wants to get aerobic exercise and strength training, but also needs to relieve pressure from their joints.
“You’re in the water, you’re buoyant and you’re not pounding your joints,” she explains. “So, there isn’t any movement that you can’t do in the water.”
Bollinger says that buoyancy isn’t the only benefit water aerobics offers.
“You get your heart rate up and you increase your oxygen level. This helps your brain stay more active,” she states. “And besides that, it’s a lot of fun.”
For a holistic workout that enhances the body, mind and spirit, take to the water!
Posted on July 28, 2013 by Stacy Anthony
by Gary Player
As a professional golfer, it has always been important to me to stay in shape—and you can do so, too. As a matter of fact, my commitment to health and fitness has been a big part of my success in golf, winning tournaments over the course of five decades. However, as I get older, I realize that it takes a little bit more stretching, a little more training and a little more recovery time to keep in shape.
Most older people face such struggles, no matter how athletic they have been throughout their lives.
Staying fit is extremely important at any age, and not just for athletes. It can lead to improved sleep, weight control, concentration and mood.
It’s important for you to keep active as you get older to help stave off high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as other medical conditions that seniors often face, such as osteoporosis and depression.
Keeping in shape can also reduce the likelihood of falls and help you remain independent for years to come. For instance, regular jogging increases men’s life expectancy by 6.2 years and women’s by 5.6 years, the Copenhagen City Heart Study found.
Fortunately, you can get in shape at just about any age. Consider the more than 10,000 adults over the age of 50 who participate every two years at the National Senior Games presented by Humana. They’re an excellent example of people who not only recognize the importance of fitness but excel at multiple athletic activities.
You don’t need to be a super-athlete to stay in shape, but it’s important to get out there and do something. Here are three tips to help you keep fit:
• Fitness Classes. Many health plans offer fitness classes—such as SilverSneakers through Humana Medicare Advantage—or yoga to give older individuals a fun, easy way to stay in shape. Staying fit in a group setting can be motivating and help you stay social.
• Health Screenings & Annual Physicals. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all Medicare members now have access to one free annual wellness visit. Many preventive screenings, including type 2 diabetes and various cancers, are now also covered. Meeting with your primary care physician will give you more detailed, personalized information on what you can do to get and stay in shape.
• Exercise Like a Kid. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t exercise like a kid. After all, a recent American Cancer Society survey found that women are more likely to be physically active if it feels more like play and less like work. Simply jump on a bike or play an interactive video game, such as Wii bowling or—my favorite—Wii golf. You can also find multigenerational playgrounds across the country to help stay in shape.