Holism refers to the belief that health is best obtained when a person as a whole is considered, not just the symptoms of a particular condition. Regular physical activity is just one component of wellness. For more on this topic, visit the American Holistic Health Association website (ahha.org).
Back to the exercise component … there are four main types of exercise, and we all need some of each:
—Endurance, to improve the health of the heart and circulatory system
—Strengthening, to build muscle and reduce age-related bone loss
—Stretching, to keep the body limber and flexible
—Balance, to reduce the chances of a fall.
Now the tricky part: getting started. If you’re not already active, you’re bound to have lots of questions. What exercise program is right for you? How do you keep from hurting yourself?
Here in “snow country” we often get our exercise indoors at a gym or fitness center. To the unfamiliar, the gym may be confusing if not downright scary.
What equipment do you use and how do you safely and effectively use it?
One good way to get started is to have a consultation with a physical therapist. Your physical therapist is trained to evaluate your current fitness level and target your specific needs with a personal program of exercise.
If your therapist is part of a wellness center that features an in-house gym, they will guide you through the use of the fitness equipment appropriate for you. Here in Cazenovia, seniors can take advantage of several free programs:
CASA (Cazenovia Area Seniors Association, 655-0350) sponsors free tai chi classes for those 55 years old and above at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays in the Presbyterian Church.
RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 684-3001) sponsors BoneBuilders classes at 10 a.m. on Thursdays in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.