Yoga provides Glenda Bower an ideal way to stay fit and active.
The 77-year-old takes classes weekly at Brewster Place, 1205 S.W. 29th St., where she’s on a waiting list for an independent living cottage. For more than a decade, she’s turned to yoga to improve her balance and well-being.
“I used to get stiff and not feel so good,” Bower said. “It’s a great way to stay flexible and gain strength.”
Staying active as she ages is important to maintaining a high quality of life, she said.
Seniors like Bower have no shortage of ways to stay fit and engaged as area senior living facilities expand their offerings.
Brewster Place has “something for everyone,” said vice president and chief operating officer Claudia Larkin.
A construction project under way will add a third exercise space complete with standard equipment like treadmills, weights and ellipticals. The NuStep recumbent cross-trainer has been a favorite tool for active seniors in the gym.
Brewster also has a full-scale woodworking shop, which will be expanded from about 650 square feet to more than 1,300 square feet. The shop, one of Brewster’s most popular amenities, can be used by residents to build small furniture, create carvings and make repairs, Larkin said.
When it comes to wellness, staying active is vital for the body’s physical needs as well as its emotional and spiritual requirements, said Carol Cummings, senior director of optimum life at Brookdale, a Tennessee-based senior living company. Brookdale operates several retirement communities across Kansas, including a small community at 1022 N. Caroline Ave. in Junction City.
“It’s vital for older adults to stay engaged to find meaning and purpose in life,” Cummings said. “Everybody can live a full life, even with the challenges they may face in aging.”
At the Brookdale facility in Junction City, residents can participate in the B-Fit program, she said. The holistic exercise combines concepts of tai chi with brain challenges and meditation.
Internal fitness experts designed the program around American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for seniors, Cummings said. Those guidelines call for workouts that include strength training and cardiovascular exercise at least twice a week.
Brookdale also offers Flex Your Brain, a mental fitness workout that exercises six cognitive areas, Cummings said.
“Think about circuit training for the body, where you work different muscles,” she said. “It’s like that but for the brain.”
At Brandon Woods at Alvamar, 1501 Inverness Drive in Lawrence, seniors enjoy a fitness center, pool and walking trails throughout the 30-acre campus, said executive director Donna Bell. Exercise classes include tai chi, yoga and water aerobics.
The Big 12 Pub offers seniors a sports bar-like atmosphere to socialize before dinner and watch major University of Kansas games.
Classes from KU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute remain among the most popular activities. Classes have focused on medieval history, German settlers in Kansas and current events, Bell said.
“It makes sense if you’re thinking about the total person to think about all aspects of activity and interest,” she said.
Contact region and enterprise reporter Luke Ranker at (785) 295-1270, or follow him on Twitter at @lrankerNEWS or Facebook at facebook.com/lukeranker.