No matter age or physical abilities, just about everyone can benefit from leading a more active lifestyle. According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), regular exercise and activity help to prevent or delay the onset of many diseases and disabilities. They can even improve the health of older people who currently have a chronic condition or disability including high blood pressure, balance problems or difficulty walking. And, exercise lifts spirits too. Regular physical activity can help to regulate moods and ease depression.
With all of the known benefits, it can still be difficult to take the first steps towards a more active life. Sometimes our expectations of what we “should” be doing can scare us off from even starting in the first place. Getting in the recommended amount of exercise (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) can be overwhelming for those who have never exercised before or who haven’t been active in a long time. One strategy to address this is to start very slowly and build in short walks of 5-10 minutes beyond your current level of activity.
For some baby boomers and older adults, working out in a traditional gym can be intimidating. Others may lack motivation to work out unless they have the support of a group of peers. Fortunately, the County of San Diego’s Aging & Independence Services (AIS) can help to address these concerns through the Feeling Fit Club, a functional fitness exercise program specifically designed for older adults. Classes are free and are offered at over two dozen community locations countywide including senior and community centers, libraries and churches.
People of all abilities are welcome and there are options for those with limited mobility who may need to remain seated for all or portions of the class. Feeling Fit classes are also accessible from home through a twice daily television program as well as a video/DVD.
To learn more about the Feeling Fit Club, to find a location near you, or to get information on how to access the Feeling Fit Club through television or video/DVD, visit HealthierLivingSD.org and take the first step toward improving your health!