Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

How can you age successfully?

ThinkstockPhotos-158551485.jpgActive Aging Week is an annual event that approaches the concept of healthy aging. This year’s theme was “Explore the Possibilities.” The active aging community and brand have set out to engage all ages in providing healthy opportunities for our senior community. The week includes numerous activities, from active aging expos, senior group fitness classes, free checkups, to hearing aid calibrations, as well as healthy food demos for our seniors. All ages are welcome to participate in the celebration of life and healthy living for our seniors.

Explore the Possibilities

When dealing with the idea of aging, we often limit ourselves to things that are deemed “safe.” We should always keep safety as the main focus, but being adventurous has no age limit. Many different activities and events have levels built in for all ages, including older adults. Hiking, biking, walks/runs, creative arts for a cause, and many more activities are okay for seniors to do at a moderate and acceptable level (consult a physician before engaging in activity).

Emily Kimball, also known as the The Aging Adventurer, does not let anything limit or get in the way of adventure. She is an outdoor enthusiast who has taken all her adventures and used them as lessons to help in everyday life. Whether it’s biking across the United States, or hiking from coast to coast in England, or hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, she believes that “aging is beautiful, so accept it and enjoy it.” Her inspiration has influenced many seniors; she is a living testament to not limiting oneself, but instead believing and loving ourselves.

How Can You Age Successfully?

Three essential steps can help you age successfully, or age the way you want to. These are the keys to active aging:

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. When making healthy lifestyle choices, exercising, eating well, and avoiding smoking are all good ways to live a longer and healthy life. Doing physical activity you enjoy for 20 to 30 minutes, 5 to 6 days a week, can increase energy and make the immune system stronger. (Ask a physician before engaging in exercise.) Eating a well-balanced diet is important for everyday activity to ensure energy and focus throughout the day. Make sure you have the proper amount of fruits, whole grains, protein, and vegetables. Avoid smoking at all costs. Because of the damaging and sometimes irreversible effects of smoking, it can be very detrimental to one’s health.
  • Participate in preventive care. Staying up-to-date on immunizations and cancer screenings is very important. Make sure you are regularly taking flu shots, annual exams, and immunizations. Finding health issues early is a benefit of preventive care. Programs for health monitoring and education your health care are great ways to practice preventive measures to ensure healthy aging.
  • Plan in advance. Determining how you want to age is essential. Knowing what you want to do in life and preparing for your adventures is an important process, but it can be hard to put in order. Having all business aspects organized will make your adventures a lot more enjoyable. We all want to live long lives, but plan to enjoy each age range and live life the best you can. Exploring all possibilities can be the key aspect to having a healthy, happy, and joyful life.

For more on the importance on aging well, download our quick read below!

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Topics: active aging healthy lifestyle preventive care planning

LeadingAge Expo: Creating Successful Senior Living Exercise Programs

At the end of October, we'll be setting up shop at the LeadingAge Expo in Indianapolis where we'll be working with senior living community leaders to help them understand how they can start to build more thriving, active and vibrant senior exercise programs.  

img_2727.jpgCreating successful senior living exercise programs should be complicated, but I've seen so many communities struggle to create anything beyond their typical group fitness classes and hosting some personal training in their fitness space.  At our booth, we'll be showcasing these opportunities for senior living community professionals:

  • Our fabulous fitness staff will demonstrate fun group fitness toys, like the resistance chair, that they put to regular use in the communities we serve.  Attendees can watch them work, or boldly give each piece a try themselves.
  • We'll have information on how NIFS supports community construction projects with fitness center design and equipment expertise.
  • Data from NIFS programs will be on display and attendees can learn how to get their own exercise program outcomes that make the job of community marketing and sales staff easier.

We are also launching our brand new workshop at the Expo.  "Exercise Through the Continuums" is a one-day workshop geared for Activity Directors who are interested in improving exercise options for residents in Assisted Living and Memory Care settings. Access our "save the date" page here to find out more.

Find Out More

NIFS is committed to helping senior living communities turn their fitness program from vacant to vibrant and we'll have plenty of information and resources at our LeadingAge Expo booth (#1025) to help you do just that. If you're not attending the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo, or you can't wait until the end of the month, click here to find out more.

Download our Ebook on how you can take your community fitness center from vacant to vibrant, click below.

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Topics: senior fitnes senior lliving active aging senior living community

5 Ways to Avoid Injuries When Running

ThinkstockPhotos-516819890.jpgIt seems that running injuries are all too common. There have been many research studies done on runners and, each year, as many as 79% of runners are sidelined due to injuries. Here are 5 ways to avoid injuries when running.

1. Add Strength Training

Strong muscles, ligaments, and tendons can guard against the impact of running, lead to improved running form, and help you achieve a more consistent gait. When the body is strong, the brain is able to tell the muscles to brace for impact before your foot even hits the ground. The glutes and the core contract, in order to, steady the pelvis and the leg. The foot and ankle muscles are activated, providing a solid foundation for your heel strike. Many runners lack strength in at least one muscle group. When one stabilizer muscle is weak, the other muscles make accommodations for the weakness and therefore can become overworked. This can create a “domino effect” in the body and cause an injury or injuries.

2. Always Warm-Up AND Cool Down

A warm-up prepares the body for exercise, by increasing the heart rate and blood flow to the muscles. Then, just as the warm-up prepares the body, the cool down brings it back to its normal state. The time spent warming up and cooling down helps prevent muscle soreness and aids in recovery, both of which will help prepare the body for your next run.

3. Use Correct Form

There are many disagreements amongst runners about what defines correct running form. Just as baseball players swing a bat, or a guitarist plays a guitar, there may be some variance in form from runner to runner. But, there is some common ground, and most can agree that certain components of form, such as, good posture and proper stride, can help prevent injury. For proper posture: Be sure to keep the upper torso straight and the head directly over the shoulders. DO NOT arch the lower back. For proper stride: Avoid over-striding, which is when the foot lands well ahead of the knee. Overstriding can put extra wear and tear on the muscles and joints. Try to focus on where your foot is landing and place it close to the body. Instead of reaching with the foot, try to drive forward with the knee.

4. Wear Proper Footwear

Shoes can alter your running form and have an impact on the amount of force that is applied to the joints with each step. Professional running stores may be a good place to start when trying to find the right shoe for you, but the best indication is how the shoe feels. If it doesn’t feel good, then it’s putting stress somewhere. If you experience aches and pains after a run, it may be a good indication that you’re not in the right shoe. You may need to try a few pairs before you find the right shoe for you. Also, be sure to change your shoes often. Running shoe should be replaced every 350-450 miles.

5. Avoid the terrible "too's"

Don't do too much, too soon, too often, too fast, too hard, with too little rest.  Listen to your body and ease into it and rest when needed.

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Topics: running exercise injury prevention