Huffpost Fifty

Active Seniors Get A Fitness Makeover

Posted: Updated:
More retirement communities are looking to spice up residents' exercise routines.
More retirement communities are looking to spice up residents' exercise routines.

Worried your parents might not be getting the exercise they need at their assisted living facility? Never fear! There's a growing trend of retirement communities introducing unconventional fitness routines to keep active seniors moving.

Walnut Village in Anaheim, CA is just one of the communities involved in the The National Senior League, which allows residents to form Wii bowling teams as a way for seniors to stay fit and active. Each team has eight players and competes with opponents from all across the country using the motion-based gaming system.

Besting the rest of their competition, the Walnut Village Wii Warriors recently became the NSL's 2012 Spring Season California State Wii Bowling Champions. Ages of participants range from 70 to 93, according to activity director, Lola Ramos.

"They love it. I can’t take it off the calendar," Ramos said. "It's a great way to get people out of their apartments to socialize and interact with other residents."

Although the technology may be intimidating for older residents at first, the controller is user-friendly, especially for those with limited mobility and arthritic hands, Ramos told HuffPost/50.

More importance is being placed on fitness for retirees as Colin Milner, chief executive of the International Council on Active Aging, told The New York Times:

"The goal of a retirement community should be to make sure the client is healthy and stays as long as possible, without moving to a higher level of care, which is more costly."

Programs for post 50s, such as SilverSneakers, promote continued healthy living and fitness. SilverSneakers, which offers fitness classes and social events, is available to active seniors through many Medicare and health care plans across the country.

It's so surprise retirement communities are trying to shift seniors attentions from mahjong to Zumba and Wii Bowling -- studies have found that by implementing simple daily exercise, such as jogging, individuals can add years to their lives.

Around the Web

Active Seniors Challenge Aging Myths : NPR

Active seniors may outlive sedentary peers - Yahoo! News

Filed by Kristen Stenerson