Learn & Grow/Health & Wellness/Fit and Fabulous
Health & Wellness, Resources for Seniors

Fit and Fabulous

The athleticism and determination shown by participants in the recently-concluded 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo certainly wowed the millions of viewers who tuned in for the events – but there’s no need to be a world-class athlete to reap the numerous benefits of physical activity.

Exercise confers numerous benefits for seniors – including strengthing muscles and bones, improving balance, boosting energy, and can even help to lessen the risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Medical professionals recommend getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of activity daily to stay in shape mentally and physically; finding an activity that inspires and motivates you will make regular participation more likely, so check out this list for ways to stay active in all seasons or try one or more of the suggestions below!

  • Take a brisk walk to increase your heart rate – along with your endorphins, or those “feel-good” chemicals your brain produces during a workout. Stroll through a walkable suburban downtown like Geneva, Batavia or St. Charles, meander through a local park, or make your way to a forest preserve like one of the many in Kane County. Depending on the day, you may even be able to take in the uniquely peaceful sights in the Japanese Garden at Fabyan Forest Preserve! For residents of GreenFields Geneva, there is no shortage of walking options on the vibrant retirement community’s scenic 26-acre landscaped campus or the 17 miles of trails nearby, and many residents also enjoy participating in the community’s weekly walking club. Need some added motivation? Grab a health-tracking device and track your steps!
  • Yoga is a wonderful way to stay limber, improve flexibility, and center the mind; the ancient practice can also relieve stress, boost heart health, and ease back pain and arthritis symptoms. With its focus on healthy aging, it’s no surprise that GreenFields Geneva’s state-of-the-art wellness center includes a yoga studio with a wide variety of class offerings for all skill levels. National Yoga Month is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
  • From simple laps to water-based exercise classes, swimming is a highly beneficial, low-impact form of exercise that can burn more calories than running or biking! Spending time in water can also confer numerous other mental and physical health benefits, such as decreasing anxiety and depression, increasing strength and flexibility, and boosting sleep quality and lung capacity.
  • Got a competitive streak? Join an indoor sports league and enjoy basketball, volleyball, badminton, bowling or another rousing activity. There’s also still time for athletes over 50 to train for the National Senior Games; registration for qualifying events in Illinois for the 2022 Games – including swimming, bocce, table tennis and golf – began in August, with most qualifying events taking place in September. GreenFields Geneva offers its own version of this spirited competition, called the Silver Games, and staff are looking forward to bringing back this treasured tradition this fall!
  • Play a round or two of golf and get some fresh air while you get moving. The Chicago suburbs offer numerous options for greens enthusiasts, and Tanna Farms Golf Club in Geneva even offers exclusive discounts for GreenFields residents!
  • Besides being just plain fun, dance – whether salsa, tango, chair dancing, ballet or anything else that strikes one’s fancy – offers numerous benefits for seniors. In addition to improved balance and aerobic fitness, stronger bones, and better coordination and flexibility, dance also provides a well-documented boost in cognitive function, and has even been proven to reverse the effects of aging on the brain.
  • Go for a bike ride. With numerous bike trails in and around the Chicago area, it’s a fantastic way to get a workout in while enjoying the great outdoors.
  • Spend some time in the garden. Working with plants offers a variety of physical and mental benefits, so it’s no wonder that gardening is among the most popular physical activities among adults 65 and older.
  • In addition to cardiovascular and aerobic activities to get the heart pumping, strengthening activities can also play a key role in maintaining good health. If you don’t have weights, you can make your own using readily available household items such as water bottles or soup cans!

With so many options available for all skill levels, there’s no better time than right now to jump-start your physical fitness routine, or rejuvenate it by trying something new!

Related Stories