If you’ve ever had a gym membership, you may be familiar with some of these common concerns:
- Where do I even begin?
- How do I know what physical activities for seniors are most effective and best for me?
- Is it easier to do the bare minimum or nothing at all?
Unless you have an applicable degree, it can be overwhelming to create an exercise program or healthy diet by yourself. Sure, you can do an internet search on “physical wellness for seniors,” but how do you narrow the 853 million results that show up down to a few that are relevant to you? At Friendsview, we get it. Successful aging requires a lot of planning. And we don’t want you to have to do it alone — especially when it comes to health and wellness.
Fitness Activities for Seniors for Holistic Wellness
At Friendsview’s two on-campus fitness centers, residents can choose from a variety of senior fitness classes. Some options include balance training, core, joint health, line dancing, ping-pong, tai chi, yoga, gentle yoga, strong for life, and more. But how do you decide which one fits your goals? The good news is, our fitness program coordinator, Anthony Gorsek, is here to help. He states that his approach to programming is not just focused on physical fitness but rather on overall wellness.
Not only does he give instruction for all the exercise equipment, you can also schedule a private consultation to create home exercise plans. Anthony says, “Each resident has their own level of abilities, and it’s important to work with them toward a goal.” With a BS in exercise and sports science, an MSC in physiotherapy, and certification as a personal trainer, he brings a thorough education and great experience to helping residents reach their physical wellness goals. One resident, Eileen, comments that “prior to coming to Friendsview, I had been enrolled in numerous programs for strengthening and exercising over the years. But my experience at Friendsview has been exceptional. One can only be involved in so many classes, but there is a plan for everyone should they care to participate.”
For those who struggle to participate regularly in a fitness program, another resident, Linda, has some words of encouragement: “In a class setting, participants bond with each other, and when someone is absent, the person is missed! There is accountability because the class is counting on you. It helps you make the effort to attend, even when you might rather sleep in.”
In addition to our fitness programs, residents take advantage of our partnership with the George Fox University Physical Therapy Department. Their free clinics at Friendsview include health screenings, tips and tools on topics such as pain management, and much more. It’s one of several community connections that complement our holistic approach to wellness.
Free Chehalem Center Membership Goes Swimmingly
One of our favorite community partnerships is with the Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center. Their leisure pool includes a lazy river, hot tub, sauna and competition pool. With their classes, a climbing wall and fitness center, the center offers a great way to reach your own personal fitness goals. The best part? It’s within walking distance of our community, and Friendsview residents enjoy a free membership.
Bowling, Archery and More, Oh My!
Don’t worry if you are more into adventure exercise than a programmed class setting. The resident-led Fitness Committee schedules bowling trips, archery outings, destination walks and walking guides. Their focus on additional, interesting activities for seniors helps residents improve physical wellness and quality of life.
For those who prefer to adventure alone or with a close friend, there are numerous local walking trails, including Hess Creek Canyon — right in our backyard. No matter your preferences or fitness goals, there is something for everyone. Linda, an exercise enthusiast and Friendsview resident puts it this way, “There are so many opportunities for exercise at Friendsview. Your body will thank you. You can go on with your day knowing you have already done your exercise. What a good feeling that is.”
What About Best Diets for Seniors?
Dining Services wants you to know they’re dedicated to your physical well-being. “Our focus is on simple, delicious food — that happens to be good for you. We take food allergies seriously. Our menu items are prepared from scratch in our kitchens each day using the freshest, highest-quality selections available seasonally and regionally. As a result, we don’t operate from corporate recipes and ingredients, and menus change frequently. Our trained chefs will be glad to meet your dietary needs.” They don’t stop there, though. Dining Services hosts a monthly educational presentation with our nutritionist on topics that promote physical health.
Due to the pandemic, we’ve adjusted our approach to physical wellness — with fewer group classes and more outdoor, solo exercises. But our dedication has not wavered. The well-being of all residents and staff is still our main priority. Our focus on physical, spiritual, emotional and mental wellness and senior health is at the core of our mission. And Quaker values influence all our decisions and programming. If you’re interested in learning more about our fitness programming, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.
Nikki Deckon has been on staff at Friendsview since 2018 in various roles and in long term care for several years. Before working with seniors, she wrote/produced hundreds of talk radio programs and vignettes; was published in a couple of editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul and other print publications including The Oregonian, Kids NW, The Sun and more. After twenty years of marriage she feels that she’s still in the “honeymoon” phase and is enjoying raising her teenage boys in Newberg, a mere two miles from Friendsview.