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The Key to Successful Aging

“There’s something special about Vinson Hall Retirement Community – the residents age with such grace, and I’m not saying that just because I work here,” says George Lynch, fitness director and exercise specialist in kinesiology. The majority of his resident clients are retired military or government officials who are used to staying active and fit.

George and his team like to meet one-on-one with residents. After assessing medical information, the team creates a custom-designed fitness program. Workouts are designed to meet an individual’s specific needs. A personal trainer is also assigned to help with form and to keep resident clients motivated, agile and on target with their fitness plan.

“Exercise plays a huge role in successful aging, and the key isto keep moving and stretching,” says George. In his many years of working with residents, he has seen firsthand how people who regularly workout seem to age at a different rate than people who do not.

George encourages everyone to follow their own fitness plan and go at their own pace no matter how old they are. “The hardest part,” says George, “especially for seniors who have never trained or who haven’t trained since they were much younger, is just getting started. After that, there’s plenty of camaraderie and lots of support  from fellow residents and Vinson Hall’s Fitness Center staff.”

Most fitness plans focus on these four basic areas:

Strength

Strength training is important for preventing muscle loss and maintaining balance and stamina. This includes weight-bearing exercises using hand weights and body weight. Effective workouts can be designed for anyone. Chair exercises are an excellent option for those who are frail, at risk of falling, or have limited mobility.

Stamina

Residents can greatly improve health and stamina by doing just 30 minutes of gentle exercise on most days. Everything from walking to dance and yoga counts toward this exercise goal. “Just move everyday,” is the mantra that George shares with his clients. He likes to see people functioning at the top of their level, so they stay active longer.

Balance

Balance plays such an important role in the activities of everyday life. That’s why balance activities are an important part of the fitness program. These moves can improve mobility, maintain muscle tone and build strength. Regular balance exercises – and exercise in general – can minimize risk for falls.

Flexibility

Stretching slows down age-related mobility loss, improves circulation, improves flexibility and can even reduce back pain. There are stretches for the neck, arms, back, hips, and legs that can help maintain joint flexibility, muscle tone and posture. This all supports activities of daily living and keeps people independent for longer.

 Deciding to become physically active is one of the best things anyone can do for overall wellness and improved quality of life. At VHRC we pride ourselves in including fitness in all of our daily schedules because we know that regular exercise is great for both mental and physical health, and it’s the key to successful aging.

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