Senior Exercise Centers – What You Need To Know

senior exercise centers

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy. In addition to the obvious health benefits of increased heart rate and improved muscle tone, exercise also helps keep senior citizens independent. Seniors are living longer, which means that they’re experiencing increasing difficulties maintaining mobility and independence. Whether they’ve had one injury or are suffering from another, or are otherwise physically impaired older adults need to get moving to maintain their fitness and remain independent.

Role Of Senior Exercise Centers

Senior Exercise

That’s where senior exercise centers come into play. In one setting or another, most people are looking for ways to occupy their free time. There are always the special occasions, such as a party or the wedding anniversary, but many seniors want a little extra challenge. They may have been working too long or have taken up too much of an interest in hobbies that don’t involve moving around that much. A visit from a physical therapist can give them the boost they need to begin an exercise program. And many physical therapists offer sessions at these senior exercise centers.

Exercise programs are designed for everyone, with special considerations depending on age and physical abilities. Specialty centers offer a variety of options to accommodate clients. Some center locations include activities to accommodate those recovering from injuries or undergoing surgical procedures. Others focus on the elderly alone. No matter what type of activity is scheduled, the facilities to make sure it’s appropriate for everyone.

Few In-house Activities

Senior Exercise

In-house activities may include such things as yoga or Pilates and may incorporate dancing or music to encourage activity. Outdoor activities are popular with senior exercise classes, too. Walking and bicycling are usually encouraged, and participants are always advised to wear comfortable, supportive clothing. Some centers offer games like Spin the Bottle or a scavenger hunt to add some fun to an activity.

 Help For As Long As The Person Desires

Once a physical therapist has helped someone begin an exercise program, the therapist can often continue to help for as long as the person desires. The physical therapist may also suggest other types of exercise for the patient, depending on the needs of the person. If the senior doesn’t feel any pain or is able to do an activity that doesn’t aggravate an injury, the therapist may recommend low-impact or gently used exercise equipment. Higher impact exercises, like aerobic or strength training, may be recommended if there is pain or other issues with moving. A physical therapist can also provide alternative treatments, like heat therapy or cold therapy, to promote healing or alleviate pain.

Bottom Line 

If you are a senior who is having difficulties maintaining your current fitness level, it may be time for an exercise program. Whether you want to lose weight or improve your health, you should consult with a licensed physical therapist. Be sure to find one that emphasizes cardiovascular exercise and has the necessary equipment. Many senior exercise centers are equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines and other cardiovascular equipment. Look for a center where the physical therapist can explain the equipment and the benefits of using it.

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