At Walker Methodist, our fitness technicians are finding creative ways to keep residents active. Residents can still lead healthy, active lifestyles while social distancing and following “stay at home” orders.
“Our intent is to encourage residents to keep moving,” said Caitlyn Hones, fitness tech at Walker Methodist Westwood Ridge. “We have beautiful outdoor walking paths around many communities, and there’s so much that can be done from inside their apartments.” Here are three ways the fitness team is helping residents stay active:
Fitness techs give residents resources for home workouts, including suggestions for what and how much exercise is recommended. Some techs also provide a calendar with daily exercises or a log for residents to track their exercise, whether they do a home workout or choose to do something on their own. At Westwood Ridge, residents can borrow small equipment, like dumbbells and resistance bands, to help them follow one-sheet exercise programs Caitlyn created. This program allows residents to work out when they want and how they want in their apartments.
Natalie Doornink, fitness tech at Walker Methodist Levande, made residents personalized in-home fitness circuit plans residents can complete in their apartments. “Residents inspire me daily,” said Natalie. “Working with them is humbling and rewarding. They are responding well and continuing to persevere.”
There are plenty of other ways to stay active, too. For example, some Walker Methodist communities created hallway schedules, which allow residents to sign up for a time to walk the hallways on their floor.
Thanks to technology, there are plenty of ways to tune in online. Programs like SilverSneakers and Silver&Fit are livestreaming classes, and residents can participate from the comfort of their own homes. Classes range from topics like yoga and flexibility to total body conditioning. Ben Lee, fitness tech at Walker Methodist Place, also hosts a livestream class from the Chapel. This class is broadcasted on the Walker Methodist closed-circuit TV channel most weekdays at 1 p.m.
Competition can be a motivator to stay active. Residents at Havenwood of Onalaska, led by fitness tech Kristie Ristow, track their daily activity to earn prizes like water bottles, exercise bands, and dumbbells. At the end of the competition, one grand prize winner will get a three-month fitness center membership. “We encourage 30 minutes of activity daily, and I check in with residents throughout the week,” said Kristie. “Sometimes I even give exercise demonstrations.” This friendly competition can help residents make room for intentional movement in their schedules as they adjust to a new lifestyle.
“I’m incredibly proud of how our fitness team has created programs to meet the needs of residents in their communities,” said Aaron Aslakson, director of fitness centers. “They continue to work hard to keep residents active in their apartments. Because of the creativity of our team, as well as their willingness to jump in to new situations, residents have multiple options to stay engaged and healthy.”