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.
Smart Fitt has embarked on an amazing challenge this month. In a bid to raise as much money as possible for Alzheimer’s Research UK, Amanda and her family have pledged to ride 1000 miles between them starting from the beginning of November 2018 until the end of January 2019. As the winter months close in, the last thing most of us feel like doing is heading out on our bikes in the wind and rain but Amanda and her team will be braving all weathers to achieve their goal!
Alzheimers Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Their research aims to: Bring about greater understanding of the diseases that cause dementia, earlier and more accurate diagnosis, using most up to date evidence to reduce risk, and ensure dementia is treated effectively. As it stands today there are no dementia survivors. Alzheimer’s Research UK aims to change this.
As well as helping to ensure Alzheimer’s Research UK can continue to carry out their vital work you will also be helping to motivate Amanda and her family to keep going with the challenge, especially when they are faced with the cold, dark winter days.
You can donate quickly and easily at Amanda’s fundraising page. You check on their progress and leave messages to keep them going!
Smart Fitt is inspired by the ongoing work and research carried out by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Amanda and her family feel passionate about supporting the charity by completing the Cycling Down Dementia Epic Challenge - 1000 miles. Whatever you can afford to give will help Alzheimers Research UK deliver their aims.
Amanda works closely with older people, offering specialist fitness classes for all abilities. She feels strongly about the positive effect regular exercise can have both physically and mentally.
A recent study has suggested that a third of cases of dementia could be prevented through changes in our lifestyle as we age. The Age Well trial found that participants who showed the biggest increase in mental and physical activity were those who had set targets and mentoring to assess their progress.
Help to spread the word about Alzheimer’s Research UK by sharing Amanda’s fundraising page with all your friends and family. The more people that know about Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vital research work the greater the chance of the charity being able to achieve their mission of bringing about a life-changing dementia treatment by 2025.
Be sure to follow the hashtag #TEAMARUK