Celebrate Older Americans Month with exercise, activities

Sheboygan County’s community of active individuals is steadily growing as awareness of fitness and nutrition become more popular.

Endurance: Also known as aerobic exercise, seniors should exercise 150 minutes throughout week. Examples of this type of activity include taking a brisk walk or gardening.

Increasing your endurance helps with heart problems, decreases loss in bone mass and lowers the risk of chronic conditions like dementia and diabetes. Our aging community is definitely included in that population. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seniors should engage in four types of exercises regularly.

Strength and balance: These exercises go hand in hand. It is recommended to aim for two days of strength exercises and three days for balance exercises. Examples of strength exercises include lifting weights or using resistance bands. Examples of balance activities include standing on one foot or Tai chi.

Exercises like these help decrease the chances of falling by strengthening your core and improving hand-eye coordination.

Flexibility: Make sure to stretch all muscle groups in your body. If you’d like a challenge, try yoga or Pilates. By adding this type of exercise three or more days per week you will increase your range of motion.

These activities will result in lower stress levels and prevent muscle stiffness as you age.

Exercising benefits more than just the body. You can also improve your mental and emotional health by maintaining an active lifestyle.

“Exercise is an integral piece of quality and healthy aging,” said Kerri Robertson, assistant supervisor and wellness instructor at the Senior Activity Center of Sheboygan.

So help celebrate Older Americans Month by joining us for the 23rd annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day. Across the US an estimated 100,000 older adults will participate in local fitness activities. National Senior Health and Fitness Day is the nation’s largest health promotion event for older adults. Sheboygan County’s community is welcome to join us from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. May 25 for a one-mile walk from the Senior Activity Center to Fountain Park. There will be games, performances, demonstrations, music by the band Unity and a healthy vendor fair to showcase resources available to seniors.

Bring family. Bring friends. All are welcome in this celebration.

Erica Gollhardt is the admissions director for Golden Living Center-Sheboygan and is a member of the Sheboygan County Activity and Nutrition Coalition