Fitness Options for Stay-At-Home Older Adults
The older adults who are choosing to participate in online exercise classes have many options to choose from: Zumba, weight training, meditation, standard exercise classes, Pilates, and yoga. Centers across the country have provided the Zoom application along with staff contact information, so that older adults can easily sign up online. These classes have a weekly schedule, and participants simply log into Zoom and begin exercising with the group. This trend is not just among smaller senior centers; the YMCA of the Inland Northwest in Washington state implemented a new YMCA 360 program, which includes taped and live classes that focus on weights, chair yoga, and core strength. KXLY in Spokane, Washington, reports instructors are seeing people who may not have walked through their doors prior to the pandemic, and they are now are reaching even more older adults.
The New York Times reports on alternative options to jumping on the internet offered by fitness experts. Experts suggest making the most of their surroundings; a hallway or staircase can be a great tool for beneficial exercise. These experts firmly believe in aerobic conditioning, but if walking outside is not practical, they recommend walking around a room when doing something like talking to someone on the phone, suggesting that older adults should aim to walk from room to room at least three times a day. The fitness experts go on to say that fancy workout equipment is not needed. Homebound older adults can use fluid-filled water bottles or milk jugs for some strength exercise.
With the help of resources like these, those age 65 and better are focusing on their fitness through a combination of online instruction, creativity, and a drive to stay healthy.
Source: Mather Institute