HASTINGS, Minn. — Staying active isn’t just for young folks. Exercise is an important piece to ensuring that we can continue to do the things we love as we age. In order to help seniors continue to live their lives to the fullest, local senior facilities do what they can to encourage residents to remain active.
One such program is the Live 2 B Healthy senior fitness program offered at Augustana Park Ridge Apartments.
Live 2 B Healthy, a company with franchises around the United States, offers fitness programs with certified instructors to keep seniors active in a variety of ways.
At Park Ridge, Live 2 B Healthy offers classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. The class is free and open to everyone, not just Park Ridge residents. Family members, friends or other Hastings residents are welcome to join.
The class, which usually has about 10 participants, is focused on improving or maintaining strength and balance. It's held in the complex’s dining room. In order to accommodate all levels of ability, all exercises are done sitting on or using the chair as a support. Some exercises include balls and bands to help with strength training.
“We aren’t training them for a marathon. We do this so that they can keep doing what is meaningful to them and the things that they enjoy," Live 2 B Healthy St. Croix Valley regional owner Kelly Nygard said. "We do this so that they can stay independent as long as possible.”
While each class focuses on strength and balance, the exercises, reps and the amount of weight participants switches up every lesson.
“The trainers practice the idea of muscle confusion. You have to continuously switch up the exercise in order to avoid a plateau,” Nygard said.
On the other side of town is the Regina Senior Living facility.
Similar to Park Ridge, Regina Senior Living offers fitness classes for a range of abilities, called Wellness and You. Twice a week, Regina offers a class for its independent residents that challenge them to remain active. Many of the exercises also involve a chair to help with support and balance.
Recently, Regina has been implementing different styles of exercise to their normal exercise program.
Wellness and You leader Joan Seidl has introduced yoga and tai chi to the group class and is willing to keep trying different types of exercise, wellness director Dawn Trombley said. Along with what Seidl has introduced, Regina has also partnered with the Hastings YMCA to bring Zumba and with Allina Health to do a balance class.
“I am amazed at their willingness to participate. Age doesn’t interfere with what they want to do and how healthy they want to be,” Trombley said. “We have this core group of residents that is really committed to their well-being and they said if they don’t have it, they don’t feel as energetic as they are. I find that amazing.”