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Community Life, Health & Wellness

Opportunities for Fitness During Any Season of the Year

You don’t have to be a world-renowned doctor to recognize that physical fitness benefits people of any age. Fitness prevents an array of health conditions and concerns while controlling weight, boosting mood and increasing energy.

The benefits are particularly clear for older adults. In addition to physical and mental wellness, fitness may lead to more independence and self-sufficiency. When combined with a balanced diet and a vital social life-a lifestyle fostered by the amenities of GreenFields Geneva-regular fitness is a key component of an active, healthy retirement.

Excellence in Fitness highlights several of the benefits seniors may experience when they add exercise to their routine. One of those is improved bone health. Muscle-strengthening and weight training can help stave off osteoporosis as we age. Regular fitness may lower the risk of breaking bones as exercise increases muscle mass. Another benefit is improved cardiovascular strength. If you’re getting winded going upstairs or while taking care of household chores, adding fitness will improve your stamina and reduce the risk of a heart attack. Fitness also increases blood flow to the brain, which keeps one’s mind sharp, encourages problem-solving and prevents memory loss. The benefits go on and on, from increased range of motion and flexibility to better quality sleep.

Even as winter sets in, there are opportunities to maintain a fitness regimen, from activities that can be done alone (think dumbbells, fitness DVDs and chair exercises) to those that can be done in a group. GreenFields Geneva has an exercise physiologist on staff and offers opportunities for physical activity throughout the year at its fitness center. Those include the GreenFields Classic competition, formerly known as the Silver Games, and last year’s Walking to Warmer Weather challenge.

Last February, the challenge brought 50 residents together for a “walk” to Orlando, Fla. Every five minutes of physical activity translated to 10 miles on their journey to the Sunshine State. A popular newer program is Seniors Who Shake It Jazzercise program as seen in the Chicago Tribune.

Fitness doesn’t have to be something reserved for the Winter Olympians about to take the world stage in Beijing. It can be the key to unlocking a healthy lifestyle any time of the year and at any age.

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