Fit-4-Life Builds Human Houses

By Sanon, Garry | Aging Today, March/April 2012 | Go to article overview

Fit-4-Life Builds Human Houses


Sanon, Garry, Aging Today


If you had to identify a single tool as being the most important in building, maintaining and repairing your house, which would it be? In reality, it would be impossible to choose just one, because it takes more than one tool or resource to build and maintain a well-functioning house. The human body can be likened to a house and, like any house, its longevity depends upon the levels of care and maintenance performed over time.

For those whose human "houses" are older, incorporating a balance of healthy eating and adequate physical activity into one's lifestyle can help combat disease and loss of function. I believe that this approach is the most sensible and costeffective method to stave off chronic illness and debility in aging adults.

Fit-4 Life Helps Maintain Human "Houses"

The Fit-4-Life program, based out of Kit Clark Senior Services in Dorchester, Mass., serves a diverse population of elders, many of whom are non-English speakers ranging in age from 60 to 89. Most participants have at least one chronic illness; others have limited mobility. Our resources, which include an array of gym equipment, certified fitness instructors, volunteers and a registered dietitian, allow us to offer a wide variety of classes and track participants' outcome measures. Fit-4-Life classes include Zumba, gardening, nutrition counseling and strength training, among others. In addition, supplying participants with an added layer of education and food access programs allows them to feel empowered to make lifestyle changes. Providing a wide array of classes ensures that we are accommodating participants with varying needs, equipping them with the necessary tools to maintain their human houses.

Our most popular classes, Total Body Conditioning and ChairFit, focus on improving functional capacity. These classes combine exercises that target flexibility, mobility, stability, balance, endurance, agility, strength and reactive skills- all of which are components of fitness necessary to improve function. Unfortunately, one or more of these " fitness staples" often are negated in fitness programs designed for elders. …

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