The Importance of Group Exercise Classes
After age 65, our bodies start to change in ways that can be debilitating if you are sedentary. Changes in bone density can lead to osteoporosis and fractures. Changes in muscle mass can lead to weakness and difficulty with tasks such as getting up from a chair or getting up from the ground. Changes in vision and hearing can affect perception of environment and lead to falls. Changes in heart and lung function can lead to serious conditions such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Changes in sleep duration and quality can lead to less energy throughout the day. Changes in the brain can lead to impaired memory and depression.
Luckily, exercise seems to be the miracle cure for many of these age-related inconveniences. Participating in 30-60 minutes of exercise, 3 or more days per week, can help preserve muscle and bone mass, keeping you safe and strong. Getting your heart rate up, helps maintain lung function and heart health, reducing the number of medications you have to take. Following instructions and socializing with your peers in class, challenges your brain and maintains memory. Taking classes with coordinated movements activates the balance centers in your brain and helps reduce falls. Stretching in exercise class improves flexibility, making it easier to reach overhead, to put on a sweater, and bend down to tie shoes.
Group exercise classes for seniors take into account any limitations you may have so you can exercise pain-free and without injury. Your instructor will recommend movements that are easy-to-follow and effective. Group exercise are designed to slowly increase your fitness level over time and help you avoid changes in mobility and independence, or even regain function. It is important to attend classes regularly and think of exercise as your new “job” after retirement. Classes are appropriate for both beginners and expert exercisers and have enough variety that you will never get bored. A group exercise class is a convenient and affordable way to take charge of your aging body and have fun with exercise.