Exercise: The Best Medicine for Senior Citizen Health
Years ago, each winter would bring a flood of exercise seekers to local gyms, eager to lose extra pounds gained over the cold months. In recent years, the trend has tapered off due to people’s commitment to staying healthy year-round.
Of those getting to the gym regularly, people over 60 years of age are at the top of the list. Their dedication to a regular fitness routine tells us a lot about how exercise can greatly improve quality of life for seniors.
A wealth of research shows that exercise can boost the physical and brain health of seniors. The National Institute on Aging promotes the connection between aerobic exercise and cognitive functioning in older adults. As we age, our brains benefit just as much from exercise as our muscles and heart. In a separate study, by the National Institute of Health, Silver Sneakers members who participated in fitness classes regularly reported “significantly better emotional and physical health” compared to members who exercised less or not at all. Silver Sneakers is a nationally endorsed senior citizen fitness program offered at AFC Fitness locations in Bala Cynwyd and Feasterville, PA.
On top of health benefits, keeping fit can also help reduce the cost of health care by lowering the need for costly hospital procedures and expensive medications. Being proactive with health and wellness is no longer a recommendation for a long healthy life, it’s a requirement that AFC takes seriously. Our main purpose is to improve the lives of our members. And by ensuring our senior members step up their physical exercise, we help deliver on that promise.
AFC Fitness is just one of many companies encouraging regular fitness by senior citizens. Just recently, Aetna Health Insurance started offering a plan which tracks exercise and healthy habits in exchange for an Apple Watch reward. The Aetna plan is based on a few features. Each member has personalized daily and weekly exercise goals that include more than just tracking steps. The goals can incorporate Apple Watch workouts such as treadmill running, yoga and other cardio activity.
In addition to exercise tracking, the Aetna plan also includes nutrition and sleep modules, and reminders for annual wellness appointments, flu shots, and more.
Exercise tracking is a great way to stay motivated, but when we ask members why they keep coming back to AFC Fitness, one answer sticks out. Of course we see traditional answers such as trying to lower their blood pressure, keep the wait off, and strengthening their heart. All are very important. But, the most mentioned is that they enjoy seeing their friends and the AFC staff. And that’s why we added more group fitness classes (now have over 80 per week) and frequent get-togethers. AFC is not just the place to exercise anymore, but the place to socialize, stay fit and be part of a healthy community. As we add more social components, we notice the amount of exercise also increases.
In addition to friends they meet at AFC, members also receive attention from award winning personal trainers and instructors who challenge and encourage them throughout their fitness journey.
Is AFC’s senior fitness program right for you? We invite you to experience everything we have to offer by starting a Free 30 Day Trial today!