Bethesda communities continually strive to make the aging years as healthy and enjoyable as possible for all our residents. One way we do this is through regularly scheduled fitness activities. We also work to make it possible for you to enjoy your own level and style of activity whenever possible.
Even individuals who are dealing with chronic conditions can likely perform some activities, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that regular and appropriate exercise can help improve both mental and physical functions. In some cases, it also reverses effects related to chronic diseases and helps you stay as mobile and independent as you can.
Whether you’re ready for a brisk walk or need to get about with a walker, here are five ways you can participate in group and individual activities while in assisted living in Phoenix.
Onsite exercise programs, scheduled transportation to local shopping venues, cooking classes and access to local events are all things that get you on your feet — or at least out of bed — and moving. These group activities also let you engage in conversation and socialization, getting to know your assisted living neighbors and providing your emotional and mental faculties with a workout too.
If you’re worried about a current condition or fitness level, talk to exercise and activity leaders about ways you can participate and build your endurance and mobility appropriately.
According to the NIH, walking regularly may reduce the chance of heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. It also boosts your mood, helps you maintain a healthy weight and develops and maintains critical muscles for ongoing mobility.
Take daily walks as you are able, even if it’s just to the dining room and back a couple of times. While it’s not ideal to walk outdoors in Phoenix in the hottest part of the year, our beautifully landscaped grounds can be explored during cooler days (or during early morning or evening walks).
The grounds allow direct access to trails at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve for those who want to explore even further. Don’t be afraid to ask a neighbor or staff member to walk with you, especially if you’re just building the habit and aren’t sure about your endurance level.
Strength exercises help maintain muscle mass, which supports continued mobility and range of motion. Seniors who are experienced with strength workouts can continue them within an assisted living environment; small free weights or other tools can be used in apartments and rooms. You can even perform a complete exercise routine while seated in a chair.
Stretching is important to maintaining flexibility and range of motion, and stretching before exercise helps reduce the chance of injuries. But improper stretching may be worse than no stretching at all, so if you’re unsure or need advice about a good routine, ask your exercise coordinator or other health and activity staff members, who are always happy to provide assistance.
Finally, a healthy diet — that’s appropriate for any relevant condition you might be dealing with — is essential to long-term fitness. Luckily, at Bethesda Gardens, our dining services provide delicious meals that make both your body and your taste buds happy. You can also participate in cooking classes, get nutritional advice and explore local eateries and shopping centers for healthy ingredients.
Note: Before you engage in a new exercise or diet plan, check with your care provider to ensure it’s appropriate for you.