This becomes a little more intense and is heart-healthy and gentle on the joints. The workout is made up of simple low-impact movements blended with strength, abdominal conditioning, stretching and relaxation exercise. This workout will strengthen your body and increase your energy level.
If you've ever wanted to take a yoga class but thought it would be too challenging, this is the perfect option for you. YogaStretch goes through the entire series of seated and standing yoga poses, but includes a chair for support whenever needed. It will increase flexibility, balance and range of movement. Best of all, the restorative breathing exercises and relaxation phase will promote stress reduction and mental clarity.
No swimming is required for SilverSplash, a shallow-water class that will improve your agility, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. Special SilverSneakers kickboards are used to develop strength, balance and coordination. Because your body weight is supported by the water, this is the perfect place to exercise if you've recently undergone joint replacement or have joint pain.
The beauty of these programs is that you can take them without obligation as your schedule and energy level permits. If classes don't fit your lifestyle, there are a multitude of other physical activities available within the fitness center. This type of specific and dedicated programming is being lauded for the positive effect it is having on the physical, emotional and social health of older adults. It is never too late to start pursuing health.
One final thought
Obviously, the fact that West Virginia is burdened by a massive amount of chronic disease, it's a wise decision for these insurance companies to invest dollars on the prevention side of chronic disease, which will in turn lower the cost on the treatment side.
No matter what type you choose, we know that regular exercise goes a long way toward lowering disease risk, boosting immunity and managing weight. We also know that for many older adults living on fixed incomes, gym memberships may be cost-prohibitive. Receiving a fitness membership removes this financial barrier and connects these older adults to a wide array of physical and social options. Nonprofits such as YMCAs offer community assistance and set fees on a sliding scale based on income.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified instructor/trainer since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to her at YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for Cindy's award-winning fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World," at www.cindysays.com, or contact the YMCA at 304-340-3527.