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Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 06:00 AM

Seniors: Find a fun form of exercise and stick with it

Seniors should find a fun way to get in shape and stick with it so they feel good and are less likely to get injured, according to Marshall Medical’s wellness guru.

“Find something that makes it fun, that challenges you or you won’t do it,” said Marsha Chadwick, wellness director for TherapyPlus, speaking at a GoldCare55+ monthly Lunch n’ Learn. 

Chadwick had most folks out of their chairs, lifting their legs and stretching their arms overhead. She took them through an entire workout anyone can do at home anytime. She encouraged them to warm up, do what doesn’t hurt and then cool down.

“Don’t do all these every day,” she warned. “You’ll never get out of bed the next day.”

More than two million seniors across the country go the emergency room every year as a result of falling.

Balance is the issue, Chadwick said. She urged seniors to improve balance by practicing standing on one foot while holding to the back of a chair. Walk heel-to-toe, practice getting down in the floor and getting up again and try strengthening ankles and feet.

“A flexible muscle will not injure as easily as a tight muscle,” she said. 

Make it fun by teaming up with a friend to exercise together. Choose something fun such as dancing, walking, swimming or yoga, and stick with it.

“If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it,” she said. 

GoldCare 55+ is a program for seniors offered by Marshall Medical Centers. Next month’s lunch n’ learn program is February 11 at the Guntersville Senior Center. The speaker is one of Marshall Medical’s cardiologists, Dr. Kathleen Evans. To register, call (256)571-8025 or (256)753-8025 for Arab residents.