Get Fit with 6: Healthy Seniors
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - No matter how old you are, exercise has many benefits. Fitness improves your cardiovascular health, helps you sleep better, helps manage body weight, and helps strengthen bones and muscles.
As you age, these things are important for even more reasons. Seniors are at greater risk of falling and suffering serious injury. Simple tasks like getting out of a chair can be a challenge and once you lose the ability to do some of these things, you also lose your independence.
The New Hanover County Senior Resource Center offers a variety of exercise classes geared toward improving strength, balance, mobility, and much more.
Bob Tibbetts attends the Men’s Exercise class three times a week. “We probably won’t win any bodybuilding courses or anything and we’re probably not ready to do an iron man but it helps us do everyday activities,” said Tibbetts, 76 years old.
The class includes squats, some cardio, and arm exercises to build strength and balance. It gives Tibbetts the confidence he needs to be helpful around the house. “Our wives are similar ages if you would for the most case so they may need a little hand on doing things. If you didn’t have this strength from your core how could you help someone?” said Tibbetts.
There’s also a Geri-Fit class for anyone over the age of 60. Most of the exercises are done in a sitting position. Many of the women in the class no longer have a spouse or anyone else around the house. “My son is married. He’s got kids. He can’t be with me all the time, so I have to do my part,” said Marie-Ange Tribie, 76 years old.
The class helps teach the women what to do if they fall. “We are taught how to get up by our self without anybody helping you if you’re on the ground which is something that is good,” said Tribie.
The class also helps seniors get out the house to socialize so they don’t isolate themselves. “By having it a schedule type thing as opposed to you go whenever you feel like going to the gym, you go to the gym you show up because that’s when class is. It helped structure my days,” said Lainie Mauger, attends Geri-Fit class.
It also helps keep their minds sharp. “You move your hands, move your feet type thing. So, you’ve got to focus and coordinate a whole bunch of stuff and it works, " said Mauger.
If an exercise class is not your thing, the center also has a small gym, pool tables, meeting areas where seniors can play cards, meals, and much more.
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