Exercise Safely with These Tips from Fitness Pros

Lisa M. Davila, B.S.N., M.S.
August 27, 2021

When it comes to exercise, every little bit counts. Unless, of course, you don’t continue the effort. Studies show that working with a qualified professional, whether it’s on a regular schedule or only occasionally, can help older adults significantly increase their frequency of exercise. More importantly, it can also help seniors stay motivated enough to continue exercising on their own.

Where to find physical trainers for seniors

Fitness professionals with specialized experience working with older adults can be found at every Erickson Senior Living-managed community’s fitness center. “Staff at our fitness centers are certified as personal trainers by one or more certifying bodies, including the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America,” says Teresa Reymann-Curran, fitness manager at Charlestown, an Erickson Senior Living community in Catonsville, Md.

Why you should utilize your community fitness center

Along with certified trainers, the equipment is senior-friendly. “Each machine has special features that make it easy to use,” Reymann-Curran says. “Our strength-training machines are a great example because they use hydraulics instead of heavy weights.”

Having strong muscles may not be your main priority, but it’s more important than you think. “Muscle-strengthening exercises help protect your bones,” says Vrinda Suneja, M.D., medical director at Fox Run, an Erickson Senior Living community in Novi, Mich.

“Making your leg muscles stronger is especially important to help prevent falls, which can lead to a bone fracture.”

You can alternate muscle strengthening with exercises that get your heart pumping, which can make you healthier in numerous ways.

“Along with benefits for your body, especially your heart, aerobic activity has a direct effect on your brain,” Suneja says. “It lifts your mood and can help you sleep better.”

How trainers help senior fitness and well-being

Trainers make sure that residents learn the safest ways to exercise. “Someone is always here during business hours and if you’ve learned to use the equipment safely, you can come in whenever you want to get some exercise,” Reymann-Curran explains.

You can work with a trainer regularly or for a specified period of time, but if you’d rather design your own exercise plan, trainers can point you in the right direction. “A personal trainer can give you creative ideas to fit physical activity into your daily life,” Reymann-Curran says. “They’ll help you find activities that fit your personality and keep you motivated.”

Make physical fitness a social occasion

If exercising with other people keeps you motivated, try a group fitness class. “We offer many classes, including one for helping you improve your balance and get stronger,” Reymann-Curran says.

A fitness center is also a great place to socialize, “Whether it’s working with a trainer, having a conversation with someone while using the equipment, or sharing stories with other people in group fitness classes,” Reymann-Curran says, “it’s much easier to reach your fitness goals when other people are there to help.”

Get started with a fitness routine at your local Erickson Senior Living community

Getting started with a fitness routine is the hardest part. At Erickson Senior Living communities, we have physical fitness experts on hand to provide advice, support, and training. Our communities also offer a great deal of group classes, sports groups, and active clubs so that you can socialize while staying fit! Request additional information or contact your local community to learn more.