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Staying Active: The Benefits of Movement as You Age

How Residents Are Staying Fit at Independent Living Communities

For seniors who are living in independent living communities or assisted living communities, staying healthy is the name of the game. It’s no secret that taking care of yourself becomes critical later in life, and the best way to do that is by employing health-conscious habits. Some of the most popular ones we encourage here at McCrite Plaza include eating a well-balanced nutritional diet, getting plenty of rest, staying engaged in mentally and socially stimulating activities, and last but not least, getting weekly exercise.

Why Is Staying Active Important?

Regardless of whether you are in a senior independent living or assisted living community, getting plenty of physical activity should always rank high in your list of priorities. Experts on the matter say that you should aim to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise. That could be a bicycle ride, a brisk walk, or swimming laps at the pool. Whatever your exercise of choice is, it should get your heart rate up and give your core muscle groups a challenge. The benefits of following the 150 minutes of exercise per week rule are far reaching, and include the following:
  • Will enable you to maintain a healthy weight; combine with healthy diet for optimal results
  • May improve your overall cognitive function
  • May help you reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Will improve quality of sleep; people who exercise are able to fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and they generally sleep deeper compared to people who don’t exercise
  • Reduces the risk of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even some cancers
  • Will improve the strength of both bones and muscles
  • Will improve your ability to do daily activities, thus, increasing your overall independence
  • Will improve balance, which is advantageous for fall prevention
  • Will increase your chances of living longer; according to the CDC, people who exercise 150 minutes per week or more have a 33% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to those who don’t exercise
When researching independent living communities or retirement communities near you, always keep the opportunities for physical activity in mind. Do they have a dedicated gym? Walking or bike trails? Yoga classes? Figuring out how to get those 150 minutes per week is critical when mapping out your retirement plans. The more often you exercise, the longer you’ll be able to remain active and independent, not to mention all the various health benefits.

Ways to Stay Active in Retirement and Independent Living Communities

Every retirement community is set up a little differently depending on their layout and proximity to walking trails, golf courses, and other means of getting exercise. Remember, when it comes to exercise, you want to challenge yourself without overdoing it. Try to stick with moderate-intensity activities that are low impact. Some examples include
  • Water aerobics: This is about as low impact as it gets, which makes it perfect for those that have muscle or joint pain. Water aerobics can improve your flexibility, balance, and strength.
  • Walking: This is yet another moderately low-impact exercise that you can do practically anywhere. You can walk outdoors on the trails, or you can find a place indoors to walk. Try to go at a brisk pace to challenge your muscles and get your heart rate up.
  • Chair yoga: This is a great alternative to yoga for those that want to increase their strength and mobility while keeping things low impact. Chair yoga has proven to be beneficial for seniors when it comes to getting better sleep and improving their overall mood.
  • Pilates: This is another form of low-impact exercise that will strengthen muscles while improving flexibility and postural alignment. It can be done with or without equipment, and is fantastic for working out the entire body.

We Value Health & Wellness Here at McCrite

What’s great about living at McCrite is that we’re constantly finding ways for residents to stay active and fit. The benefits of getting regular exercise are something we want all of our residents to be able to experience. Even if your mobility is limited, our staff will find ways that allow you to stay active. If you’ve been searching “retirement communities near me” trying to find the perfect place for you or your loved one, then look no further than McCrite Plaza. Our living spaces are luxurious and promote independent living, and we’re one of the few senior living communities that offer a full continuum of care. The best way to see McCrite is by taking a personal guided tour. You can contact McCrite Plaza Topeka or McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff using the contact form. Feel free to schedule a tour at either location so we can show you how McCrite enables seniors to get the most out of their retirement.