Gentle Yoga

Our Gentle Yoga class is a gentle approach to learning the yoga postures using props and careful alignment/adjustments for each student. We welcome all who are healthy and injury free. Gentle Yoga is offered Mondays at 9:30 am or 4:15 pm at our downtown location or check out our Group Exercise Schedule for other Yoga classes.

Muscle-Strengthening for Active Aging

Need some ideas for muscle-strengthening?

  • Strengthening exercises using exercise bands, weight machines, or hand-
    held weights.
  • Body-weight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, planks, squats, lunges)
  • Digging, lifting, and carrying as part of gardening
  • Carrying groceries
  • Some Yoga postures
  • Some forms of Tai Chi

*US Dept. of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd edition

Aqua Zumba

Aqua Zumba brings new meaning to the idea of an invigorating workout. It combines the South American Zumba rhythm and dance steps with a pool party! There is less impact on your joints during an Aqua Zumba® class so you can really let loose. Water creates natural resistance, which means every step is more challenging and helps tone your muscles. If you like to dance and have fun, come join us! Wednesdays @ 10:30.

Aqua Aerobics

Come experience all the benefits the water can provide in this guided 45-minute music filled balance, cardiovascular, and muscle strength building class. Low impact so it’s easy on the joints but provides resistance to the working muscle for an overall body benefit. Because it’s water, you can work as hard or as easy as you are able so it is appropriate for people of all physical abilities and levels. Check Pool Schedule for days/times.

Normal Aging

The aging process happens during an individual’s lifespan. The changes aging individuals experience are not necessarily harmful. With age, hair thins and turns gray. Skin thins, becomes less elastic, and sags. There is a slowing down of functions which goes forward throughout adulthood – loss of function of bodily organs. In the gastrointestinal system, for example, production of digestive
enzymes diminishes, reducing the body’s ability to break down and absorb the nutrition from food.

Scientists theorize that aging likely results from a combination of many factors. Genes, lifestyle, and disease can all affect the rate of aging. Studies have indicated that people age at different rates and in different ways.

Normal aging brings about the following changes:

  • Eyesight – loss of peripheral vision and decreased ability to judge depth.
    Decreased clarity of colors (for example, pastels and blues).
  • Hearing – loss of hearing acuity, especially sounds at the higher end of the spectrum. Also, decreasing ability to distinguish sounds when there is background noise.
  • Taste – decreased taste buds and saliva.
  • Touch and Smell – decreased sensitivity to touch and ability to smell.
  • Arteries – stiffen with age. Additionally, fatty deposits build up in your blood vessels over time, eventually causing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
  • Bladder – increased frequency in urination.
  • Body Fat – increases until middle age, stabilizes until later in life, then decreases. Distribution of fat shifts – moving from just beneath the skin to surround deeper organs.
  • Bones – somewhere around age 35, bones lose minerals faster than they are replaced.
  • Brain – loses some of the structures that connect nerve cells, and the function of the cells themselves is diminished. “Senior moments” increase.
  • Heart – is a muscle that thickens with age. Maximum pumping rate and the body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood both diminish with age.
  • Kidneys – shrink and become less efficient.
  • Lungs – somewhere around age 20, lung tissue begins to lose its elasticity, and rib cage muscles shrink progressively. Maximum
    breathing capacity diminishes with each decade of life.
  • Metabolism – medicines and alcohol are not processed as quickly. Prescription medication requires adjustment. Reflexes are also
    slowed while driving, therefore an individual might want to lengthen the distance between him and the car in front and drive more cautiously.
  • Muscles – muscle mass decline, especially with lack of exercise.
  • Skin – nails grow more slowly. Skin is more dry and wrinkled. It also heals more slowly.
  • Sexual Health – Women go through menopause, vaginal lubrication decreases and sexual tissues atrophy. In men, sperm production decreases and the prostate enlarges. Hormone levels decrease.

5 Simple Steps to Safety on Your Deck and Porch

May is my favorite month of the year. Besides the excellent celebrations of Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and my birthday, May brings some of the best weather we have in the Pacific Northwest. That means spending time outside on our decks and porches. We want to make sure that both are safe. Here are 5 steps towards your deck safety:

Check the Deck
Winter weather can do damage to decks by snow and rain causing cracks and loosening connections. Look all the way around your deck, including underneath if possible, checking for loose or rotting boards, rusty connections, and screws in the structure. These things need to be fixed right away.

If you don’t have the skill or experience to do this kind of work, find a handyman. The BIAWC website and Angie’s List are great referral sites for qualified contractors.

Test the Railings and Stair Treads
Just like the deck, stairs and handrails can get cracked or loosened over the winter. Make sure that treads are sturdy, with no wiggles. Handrails should be tightly fastened. Harsh weather can make paint blister, causing cracks and splinters on the handrail. Sand these down until they’re smooth and repaint as necessary.

Handrails for Safety
Consider adding handrails to stairs that don’t have any, even short sections of stairs. They’re good for everyone using the stairs and particularly helpful for older people who have less mobility.

Clean the Deck
A winter’s worth of weather will add debris and dirt to the deck. In some cases, mold and mildew can develop, making the deck slippery and dangerous. Sweep the deck first, getting rid leaves and dirt. Some people like to pressure wash at this point. Be sure to read the warning labels about the recommended pressure to use on wood or composite deck before starting. It’s easy to take off paint and even crack the wood if you are too enthusiastic.

Once the surface is clear, it’s time to use a deck cleaner for the wash cycle. Cleaning agents TSP and bleach have been used for years, but they are toxic both to the user and the environment. Consider using a homemade mixture of vinegar and water or baking soda and water, or an environmentally approved cleaner like Simple Green. Look for the Green Seal to know a product has been certified for environmental and health excellence.

Add the Finishing Touch
After cleaning, your deck may need to be repainted, stained or sealed now that it’s been cleaned. Consider using a paint that has non-slip texture in it for added safety. Anti-slip stair tread tape is easy to install. Add lighting to avoid tripping accidents and a nice glow in the evening. Solar powered sensor lights are great for this purpose.

Clear the Clutter
Most decks and porches don’t have built-in storage, but there is lots of stuff that accumulates on them. Chairs, cushions, barbeque tools, planters, and hoses are some of the items that may end up on your deck, causing tripping hazards. Attractive weather resistant storage boxes provide a way to stow the stuff and additional seating.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 33,000 people are injured because of structural failure of a deck, porch, railing or staircase. Now is the time to make sure your deck is a safe place to enjoy the sun. A little maintenance will go a long way towards your summer enjoyment and safety.

Susie Landsem
Aging in Place by Design
Susie is a consultant for Aging in Place. Contact her if you have questions about adding safety and comfort solutions to your home.

Zumba Gold

Zumba Gold takes the popular Latin dance-inspired workout of Zumba and makes it accessible for seniors, beginners or others needing modifications in their exercise routine. Zumba Gold builds cardiovascular health by challenging the heart and working the muscles of the hips, legs, and arms with dance moves. Join us Wednesdays @ 8:30 am in the Cordata Gym.

Risk Factors for Falls

  • Lower body weakness
  • Difficulties with gait and balance
  • Use of psychoactive medications (substances that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior) examples: anesthetic, anticonvulsant, antiparkinson, antidepressants, and stimulant medications.
  • Postural dizziness
  • Poor vision
  • Problems with feet and/or shoes
  • Home hazards