Active aging benefits the mind, body

Westlake Rec Center class participants take time to stretch after cardio and strength training.

Studies have long supported the benefits of exercising as we age. The physical benefits range from improving strength and balance to reducing risks of heart disease and depression. More recently research has broadened its scope to encompass the effects of physical activity on cognitive functioning and structural integrity of the brain.

Given the growth of the aging population as well as the increase in longevity, physical activity is a main component in maintaining health, independence and quality of life. Benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle are not limited to physical health but include psychological and social aspects as well. We are proud to play a vital role in encouraging and supporting a healthy, active lifestyle at the Westlake Recreation Center.

Improving balance, strength and endurance are key components to the group exercise classes offered at the Rec Center. With a variety of offerings including yoga, cycling, Zumba, cardio strength and aquatic classes, group classes integrate both the physical and social dimensions of healthy aging. Residents and members may participate in group exercise classes for a nominal fee. For individuals who participate in the Silver Sneakers Program, many of the classes are offered at no cost.

Among the Silver Sneakers members who shared what they thought about our classes were Mary, who said, "“I can’t wait for Fridays, not just because it’s the weekend – but for Zumba class. It is always so fun!”; and Geraldine, who said, “The instructor cares about us doing exercises correctly and for improved daily activity.”

Group exercise not your cup of tea? No worries, we have plenty of opportunities for you to be active and involved. The importance of remaining active is not limited to exercising. Health and well-being as we age is positively correlated with participation in leisure activities as well.

Our program offerings include opportunities to discover your inner artist through our watercolor program with Joyce. Perhaps you would prefer to dance down memory lane. Bring your swing as you dance the night away to Motown, swing and country music in our line dancing class. Pre-registration is required for these activities. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. you may also drop in and play a game of Pickleball for $3.

Several times throughout the year we take the fun outside of the Rec Center. This past year our Active Agers ventured to a Lake Erie Crushers game, toured the Cuyahoga River on the Goodtime and sampled Ohio’s wines during a wine tasting tour. A favorite stop was the historic Mon Ami Winery in Port Clinton. With a rich history dating back to the 1870s the building and grounds were a wonderful accompaniment to Mon Ami’s award winning wines.

With more individuals living longer, lifestyle factors that increase quality of life and independence have become a major focus in our society. The Westlake Recreation Center is proud to play a vital role in promoting and fostering a healthy lifestyle to our community.

Beth Patterson

The Westlake Recreation Center is a family facility offering a wide range of programs and activities. We also have a large fitness area, indoor track, group exercise rooms, indoor pool, and gym.

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Volume 9, Issue 20, Posted 9:54 AM, 10.17.2017