3205 W Skippack Pike
Lansdale, PA 19446

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(484) 998.4444

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(610) 584.1000


Moving in the Right Direction…Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

Moving in the Right Direction…Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

Moving in the Right Direction…Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

When is the best time to start an exercise program? Well, that’s a trick question. Because the answer is always…NOW!

But before you start Googling outdoor activities for seniors, dusting off your weights, or shopping for a new yoga mat, there’s something you should know:

It doesn’t have to be that hard.

Lots of people spend lots of time (and, let’s be honest, lots of money) to “get healthier.” The reality is that “healthier” doesn’t have to mean the best shape of your life. Senior wellness can mean moderately healthier. It can even mean a little healthier. The idea is just to get healthier.

April is the American Heart Association’s Move More Month, aimed at getting people out of their chairs and making movement a habit. The benefits of even just a small amount of exercise can’t be overexaggerated, as it improves heart health, blood sugar levels, sleep, and stress levels, among other things. It’s all about maintaining an active lifestyle. Check out the American Heart Association website for tips on healthier living, including easy exercises, food prep, and reducing stress.

According to health experts, one of the best ways to move more is to walk. If there’s a safe place to amble near you, you’re all set to go. No equipment is necessary except a good pair of comfortable shoes or sneakers.

At Meadowood senior living, our miles of walking trails, both paved and wooded paths, pave the way for senior wellness. We’ve just installed trail boxes along our Loop Road walking trail, where we can post stories, poetry, prayers, meditations, and information about the local flora and fauna — anything that might be of interest to those who are enjoying exercise outdoors. It’s our hope that these boxes will serve to enrich the experience of walking on our beautiful campus for many years to come, and that they’ll encourage our residents to get walking.

Walking not your thing? Just get outdoors, and you’ll find yourself moving in no time. Here are a few more ideas of outdoor activities for seniors to get you going. 

We know, though, that changing habits isn’t easy. That’s why breaking larger goals into smaller ones has been proven to help sustain significant lifestyle change over time. Small steps, especially ridiculously small ones, allow you to bypass your brain’s natural resistance, experience success, and keep you moving forward.

You can start your own journey to health with, for example, just a few extra steps a day. They key is to set easy goals, ones that you’re close to 100% certain you can keep. If that means taking the stairs once a day or adding an extra 5-minute walk at first, that’s OK.  It all adds up. As long as you’re consistent, you’ll see progress.

If you’re in assisted living and unable to walk because your balance is compromised or you need a device to get around, chair exercise is ideal for promoting senior wellness. Start with arm circles, shoulder shrugs, seated jumping jacks, leg extensions, or even heel lifts. More movement equals better health, no matter how you get it.

How about trying one class per week? If exercise tends to lose its charm for you over time, consider changing it up every month or two. Find anything that motivates and excites you.

Our Meadowell program offers plenty of indoor and outdoor activities for seniors: gentle movement classes like Tai Chi, Relax & Stretch, Water Walking, Aqua Yoga and Seated Yoga; fun classes like Seated Tap and Line Dancing; or focused classes like Ab & Back, Strength Training, and Spin. Whatever type of exercise at whatever level you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. The best part about taking a group class is that you’ll have the support and encouragement of your peers. Independent living doesn’t mean living in isolation; socializing is an integral part of healthy aging.

As soon as you’re keeping your first super-easy goal on a regular basis, you can add another to it. Make sure to give yourself credit for small successes along the way and keep your goals realistic so you don’t get discouraged.

If even the small-steps method doesn’t work for you, consider enlisting a trainer or health coach to get you started and keep you motivated. (Our retirement community has a great Fitness and Wellness Team here!)

Whatever you do, just move more. Make “active aging” your mantra. Your body and mind will thank you.

Until we meet…