Michelle Hoekstra

Michelle Hoekstra

Seniors: Oak Bay Rec makes healthy aging a priority

Local centres offer a variety of fitness classes to aid seniors in fall prevention

Part of aging means running into increased risks of falling. But that’s one danger fitness instructors at Recreation Oak Bay want to help prevent with special classes designed for those who are 50 years and older.

Recreation Oak Bay offers a variety of strength and balance courses for seniors this fall, all aimed toward encouraging members of the community who are 50 and older to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle in order to increase independence and reduce the risks of falling.

“There are many benefits associated with maintaining an active lifestyle for healthy aging. Exercise is important for cardio respiratory endurance, muscular strength, bone health, balance and cognitive functioning,” said Krista Enderud, a fitness programmer with Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

“A strong body and mind can improve the ability to perform day to day tasks, reduce the risk of falling and maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle.”

One course in particular, offered at Oak Bay Rec, is a fall prevention balance class, teaching seniors better balance, co-ordination, stability, strength, confidence and increased mobility.

“The use of light weights, body weight, tubing and balance equipment is used to simulate functional movements and daily tasks,” Enderud explained.

Another course, offered at both Oak Bay Rec and Henderson Recreation Centre, is senior strength training for special populations.

The small group fitness class, which uses strength machines, light weights and exercise bands, is meant for those recovering from an injury, surgery or chronic condition.

“This class is ideal for participants wanting to improve their strength, endurance, range of motion, balance and capacity for exercise,” Enderud said.

Both courses require a medical clearance and intake assessment before registering.

Monterey Recreation Centre also offers a wide selection of fitness classes targeted toward seniors, such as balance and fear of falling, tai chi, and a course dedicated to joint wellness, among others. In addition, the centre provides drop-in classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings tailored to the needs of those age 50 and older based on personal fitness level.

“It is important to find an exercise style that suits your fitness level and interests in order to adopt it into your lifestyle,” Enderud said. “There are many varieties and class options available sure to suit your needs and help you age positively.”

 

For more information, see recreation.oakbay.ca or pick up an active living guide at any of Recreation Oak Bay’s centres.