When you think of retirement, do you picture a sandy beach? A mountain retreat? How about a smooth floor and the mirrored walls of an exercise room?
Turning 65 is no excuse to stop exercising. In fact, regular exercise could prolong life, safeguard against traumatic injuries and promote independence.
That’s right – regular exercise could help you live independently longer.
Falls are the leading cause of injury and debility in older adults across the nation. It is no different in Spartanburg, according to T.J. Mack, BSN, RN-CEN.
“Falls account for over 50 percent of traumas in Spartanburg County,” Mack said. “What is the main reason older adults fall? Muscular weakness. If we don’t use it, we lose it.”
Mack is a highly trained trauma injury prevention expert who works in Spartanburg Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center. He also teaches SAIL.
SAIL, which stands for Stay Active and Independent for Life, is a fitness class for older adults. It is designed to help people 65 years old and above to remain flexible.
Mack teaches SAIL at two locations: the Cleveland Park Events Center and the Elite Senior Day Center.
The class helps the elderly, but the benefits of exercise are universal. It:
- Builds strength
- Increases mobility
- Improves sleep
- Generates positive feelings
- Can lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Exercising to build muscle is essential, however.
“You can’t just walk your neighborhood for 30 minutes a day,” Mack said. “That simply isn’t enough.”
Don’t head over to your nearest weight rack just yet. No one has to become a bodybuilder to get these benefits.
“To maximize your benefits, you need a program that includes aerobics, balance, strength training, and stretching,” Mack said.
The SAIL program offers all this during a one-hour class twice a week; it is designed to build strength, balance, awareness and confidence.
If you are 65 or older, or you have older relatives, Mack hopes you’ll consider SAIL.
“It’s free, and most importantly it’s fun,” Mack said. “You get to meet people, listen to good music and improve your overall health, all at the same time."