The Seniors Holiday Club is hosted by Deeping St James Methodist Church specifically for their senior members of the congregation. Every summer the Holiday Club runs for two consecutive weeks and offers a full range of activities and events every day, including lunch. For the duration of the Holiday Club, the members are looked after and can spend time among friends while enjoying the many activities and entertainments available. This gives their carers and family members the opportunity to take some time off knowing their loved ones are safe and cared for.
Amanda at Smart Fitt was invited to provide a demo class for a 45 minute slot in the Holiday Club timetable. She chose to use routines that she had successfully used with her current Move it or Lose it classes along with music she felt would be known to the majority of the class.
The first song ‘Catch A Falling Star’ used moves that mimicked the words allowing the routine to be easily learnt and also encouraging the members to sing along while they exercised- this helps with breathing.
Amanda then moved on to Tuxedo Junction by Glen Miller and incorporated a version of a hand jive. Next up was “Seven Little Girls” which resulted in lots of laughter!
During a short break Amanda gave everyone a ‘hedgehog ball’ (soft ball with round ended knobbly bits on them), these balls stimulate the nerves in the hand and assist the grip. The class restarted the class using the balls to encourage manual dexterity and hand/eye coordination while listening to music by Tom Jones, Neil Sedaka and the Everly Brothers.
Amanda ended the class with a short meditation to help relax the mind and body along with some gentle stretching.
As the class finished Amanda was given a big round of applause and the members stopped to chat together.
When we get older it is a good idea to ensure you keep active and continue with gentle exercise. A group exercise class such as Move It Or Lose It is a great way of helping to stay mobile as well as keeping the mind active. There are many benefits of keeping active in older age. These include a decreased risk of dementia, depression, hip fractures, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
This video shows one of my clients demonstrating really good form performing a wall squat. I’ve been working with him for 18 months now and he has barely missed a week! This is a great example of how regular, structured exercise can give amazing results.
Help Prevent Injuries
The wall squat is a fantastic exercise for developing strength in your legs, namely the glutes, quads and hamstrings. If you’re a runner they’re also ideal as they will help prevent injuries such as runners knee. Wall squats are great for increasing flexibility and strengthening weak muscles. Strengthening your legs by doing wall squats will make getting up out of a chair much quicker and you’ll find climbing the stairs much easier.
Before attempting wall squats it’s important to have a relatively strong core- this means abs, lower back, pelvic floor and the diaphragm- not just the abs!
Progressing the Exercise
Fun and motivating exercise routines
The beauty of the wall squat is that you can do them pretty much anywhere, so long as you’ve got a wall to lean up against. If you want your exercise routine to be a bit more fun and motivating why not come along to one of our Move It or Lose It classes. All the classes can be done either seated or standing and are fantastic for helping with everyday functionality as a lot of the moves are based on activities we carry out in our daily lives, such as knee raises which mimics climbing the stairs.
Move It or Lose It Classes
Move It or Lose It classes have been developed to help you improve your strength, flexibility, aerobic health and balance, all of which will help you keep your independence. The risk of falls increases as we age but regularly attending an exercise class and focussing on strength and stability can help prevent you from falling.
A recent study conducted by Alzheimer’s Research UK has found that half the UK population has no idea of the risk factors for dementia. In fact, the study revealed that a fifth of people believed it was just an inevitable part of aging. But the truth is we can all play a part in reducing our risk factors of developing the disease, simply by adopting a healthier lifestyle and exercising!
We all know how great exercise makes us feel so it makes sense to make regular, enjoyable exercise part of your routine. This NHS article really highlights how social physical activity can play a big part in helping depression and anxiety in old age which in turn could lower the risk of developing dementia.
Exercise can increase:
Memory and thinking skills
Harvard Medical School showed that moderate regular exercise can improve your memory in only 6 months. Exercise works on the brain directly and indirectly. Directly by increasing the volume of the parts of the brain which control memory and indirectly through improving sleep and reducing stress and anxiety.
According to the World Health Organisation regular exercise can increase your lifespan by reducing the likelihood of coronary disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer. Regular exercise improves muscle fitness and body mass.
John Hopkins Medicine suggest that physical activity can be just as much of a benefit to your heart health as medication. Exercise can help by lowering blood pressure, keeping your weight under control and strengthening your muscles.
Exercise can help treat depression and anxiety. The endorphins (hormone that makes us feel good) released through exercise give you an enormous sense of well being as well as helping you feel energised.
The benefits of regular exercise are vast but as we get older it is common to ease off on the amount of physical activity we do. Decreased mobility, illness and isolation are all factors that affect how active we are in old age. Taking part in regular exercise classes such as The Move it or Lose it classes with Amanda Abbott at Smart Fitt will help increase your overall well-being, heart and brain health as well as improve your balance and reduce your risk of falls. You’ll get to meet up with like minded friends to help motivate each other. The classes are designed to help people remain active and healthy as they age.
Classes started this month, a full class schedule can be found here: Move It or Lose It Class Schedule contact Amanda on 07535788756, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.