Celebrating our Faith during COVID-19

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Helping Seniors stay Fit while at Home

July 20, 2020

From the Office for Social Ministry

Maintaining proper health and wellness routines during COVID-19 can often be a challenge for folks who have been used to working out in crowded gyms and public fitness centers. It is especially difficult for senior citizens with underlying health conditions to get a good workout from their own homes. Fortunately, there are many resources for our beloved kupuna to stay fit while staying safer at home!

For example, Catholic Charities Hawaii offers a variety of online fitness programs for seniors, including exercise classes on zoom especially designed for those experiencing difficulty with leg strength or mobility.  St John the Baptist Church’s GPS (God’s Precious Seniors) kupuna wellness ministry was able to enjoy the chair exercise program in their own parish hall when it was still safe to gather.

For seniors who want to access these classes on their own, check out the STRONGER SENIORS online tutorial by Anne Burnell, which offers a series of chair exercise sessions at an affordable price. Classes focus on Core Strength, Balance and Posture, Chair Yoga, Chair Fitness, Senior Strength and Senior Stretch.  Each session lasts from about 30 minutes to an hour and costs about $1.99 each for weekly rentals. DVDs are also available for purchase so you can work out at your convenience!

Keep in mind that when engaging in any kind of physical activity, please listen to your body.  Endurance activities should not cause dizziness, chest pain or heartburn. If performed correctly, exercise can help seniors strengthen weak muscles which often cause imbalance and increased risk of falls.  Fragile bones can also make elders susceptible to fractures. For our kupuna, sadness and social isolation can have negative health effects and increase the risk of serious health problems. Studies show a direct correlation between physical exercise and mental health.  To explore ways of finding balance, visit the National Institute on Aging (NIA) resource page on Exercise and Physical Activity. Other resources showing the benefits of exercise and mental health can be found at PT & Me. AARP also provides a number of articles that addresses health and wellness as we all learn to not only survive, but to thrive together as One ‘Ohana during COVID-19.  Let’s continue to help our seniors stay fit and strong while staying safer at home