If you visited the Brandermill Woods fitness center this spring, you’d notice something a little unusual: a giant map of the United States on the wall, with various names thumb-tacked along the Pacific Coast Highway and a print-out of resident names. This is all part of a current exercise tracking program whereby residents travel 1 mile for every 1 minute of exercise, with the goal of making it along five classic American road trips.
“It’s a fun way to give residents ownership of their physical fitness,” explained Jess Luck, the fitness coordinator for Brandermill Woods. “We’re all on our own fitness journey, so this road trip map helps residents measure their activity and provides a good motivation to stay active.”
Physical activity is consistently one of the best things any of us can do as we age. Not only does it keep us heart-healthy and strong, but a large body of research also suggests exercise can help keep the mind sharp and make us generally feel good every day. That’s why the Brandermill Woods fitness center offers boundless opportunities to stay fit as you age. The amenity comes with all the expected exercise equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, and weight lift machines.
The real amenity, however, is the variety of classes offered each week: men’s classes, women’s classes, aerobics, arthritis range-of-motion classes, and Powercise (a fun spin on aerobics). “My favorite class is line dancing,” Jess said with a laugh. “It’s a great way to end the week. We have a group of five women who participate each week, and it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being fun, which is my philosophy for everything I teach.”
Residents constantly report how much they love the fitness programs, and they make it a point to exercise regularly. “It’s about freedom, the ability to travel, to drive yourself, and participate in activities requiring mobility,” said resident Clint Hollandsworth on why he chooses to exercise. He tries to work out every morning at the fitness center.
Resident Margaret Fuson loves the classes for the way they have transformed her life. “I am in the best physical shape I have ever been in,” she said. “I decided eight months ago that if I wanted to live a long healthy life and continue to be active, I had to make some lifestyle changes. This is allowing me to grow older gracefully.”
Perhaps resident Regina Fulton put it best when describing why she enjoys the aquatics classes: “If you don’t move it, you lose it!”
Three cheers to these and the other Brandermill Woods residents who are participating in the road trip exercise challenge between now and late May. So, why do you exercise?