The American College of Sports Medicine has concluded that there is no segment of the population that can benefit more from exercise than the elderly. Many of the changes that physiologists attribute to aging are actually caused by disuse. Using your body will keep it young. Physical inactivity leads to low cardio respiratory fitness and hyper tension, the leading cause of early mortality. So, to get into winter shape and enjoy the best of what the great indoors and outdoors can offer, here are the do’s and don’ts to consider.
Poor muscle tone, risk of fractures, obesity, diabetes and premature aging can all be mitigated by regular daily exercise. But how regular and what kind is advisable?
Endurance exercise: walking, jogging, and biking are the best for endurance training. A variety of exercise machines in our Evergreen gyms can also do the job, but only if they are used correctly. The key is regular activity. Start slowly if you are out of shape, then build up gradually to 3–4 hours a week. A program as simple as 30 minutes of brisk walking nearly every day will produce major benefits.
Resistance exercise: using light weights or exercise machines enhances muscle mass and strengthens and preserves bone calcium. Most men and women can develop an effective home or gym program for themselves. Swimming in our Evergreen Villages’ heated pools is a tremendous way to combine endurance and resistance exercise benefits.
Flexibility training will help keep you supple as you age. Stretching exercises are an ideal way to warm up before and cool down after endurance exercise. 20 minutes of dedicated time two or three times a week is ideal. Yoga classes are also very helpful.
It would seem that to keep your body as young as possible for as long as possible, keep it moving. Whilst most Evergreen residents stay fit and invigorated, many of us are sedentary by nature, and need to be prodded and encouraged to get active. Here, the walking clubs at our villages play a vital role: Amdec sponsors the club tee shirts and the members ensure that ‘team Evergreen’ are seen (and heard) at many local charity and fun walks.
“Happiness and healthiness is what everybody talks about and for us, we have that in abundance here. At Evergreen you start a new life with new people, an experience that we would never change and one that we will hold with us forever.” Evergreen residents, Mr & Mrs Banwell
Evergreen Group CEO Arthur Case explains the brand’s approach to active aging and healthcare: “Retirement may be in our name but it’s certainly not in our nature. Evergreen residents are not the least bit interested in sitting around and feeling ‘old.’ Many are active, healthy, and often highly adventurous!”
However, one cannot disregard the fact that a natural consequence of aging is the challenge of managing ones health. In this regard, Evergreen’s approach is layered and discreet: care for those who need it, when they need it, and great health and independent, active lifestyles for everyone in order to combat aging and the onset of frailty.
The first layer provides for home-based healthcare, where residents receive care in the familiar surroundings of their homes. This is not only the preferred route, it is also proven to help in recovery. Palliative care may also be provided in the home.
This is further enhanced by regular health clinics in all villages where personalised primary health care is administered by trained and friendly staff. Services include preventative flu injections, regular health checks such as blood pressure, as well as treatment of basic bumps, scratches or sprains.
At Evergreen you’ll enjoy peace of mind in the knowledge that – should you need it – care is always at hand. All homes and apartments are fitted with Telecare units. There’s always someone to talk to at the push of a button and if needed, emergency services will be dispatched immediately.
Finally, the establishment of a new Frail Care Centre at the Muizenberg village completes the ‘continuous care’ model by offering 24 hour medical and recuperative care.