Water exercises put less stress on the joints making it a perfect exercise for seniors. The water acts as a form of resistance, so strength exercises can be performed in the pool without heavy weights. Flexibility, balance, bone density and cardiovascular functions are increased while muscle-loss is decreased. Water workouts are a perfect alternative to exercising at the gym. Have you tried a water class yet?
This week, we did an Aqua Fitness Question and Answer session with Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director.
Can you give us a short description of the classes offered at the Springmoor pools?
Aqua Basic – 45 minutes of fundamental water exercises to improve strength, range of motion, and balance.
Aqua Challenge – 45 minutes of challenging water exercises with a strong emphasis on cardiovascular endurance.
Aqua Free Time – The pool is supervised by a Health & Fitness Staff Member, allowing the residents to swim, walk or exercise at their own pace.
What level of difficulty is each class?
Aqua Challenge is in our “C” category, making it the highest level of difficulty. Modifications can be provided for different needs.
Aqua Basic is considered a “B” category… not as intense or fast paced.
Aqua Free Time is great for those who are motivated and like to exercise on their own.
Is one better than another for sore muscles or arthritis or other ailments? Do the physical therapy instructors also help?
Aqua Basic is the best option for those who have arthritis, chronic pain, or starting to exercise after a joint surgery or injury.
Physical Therapists do not teach classes but they can provide Aquatic Therapy for patients in the facility.
Water volleyball is a new monthly resident activity. Does the Wellness staff play too? Do you have an audience/cheering section?
The staff participates with the residents and we have a lot of fun!!! Cheering sections are welcome. We laugh and get a good workout while playing. (We don’t keep score.)
Lap swim – when, where and who?
Residents can lap swim during Aqua Free Time: Mon/Wed/Fri from 9:00 – 10:00 am or Mon/Wed from 1:30 – 2:30 pm.
Residents can use the pool on their own during non-programming hours. We strongly encourage the buddy rule.
Which resident swims the most laps (each day, each week)?
John Neal swims the most laps at one time. He swims a minimum of a mile three days a week (72 lengths plus another 6 to 8 laps just to be sure he counted correctly). Don & Jane Priess win the most consistent award. They come early in the morning and do their own routine.
Swimming in North Village – is this smaller pool just for aerobics? Anything else?
The Fitness Staff provides an Aqua Basic class in the NV Pool on Tues/Thurs at 9:15 am. A resident led group meets at 6:30 am on Tues/Thurs/Sat.
Some residents will use the pool on their own time to do their home exercise routine.
Time for play in the pool with grandchildren – how does this work?
Residents can enjoy spending time with their family while using the pool. We have several families who take advantage of this and they have so much fun! The rules are: residents must be present with their guests in the pool area at all times. We currently do not have “guest hours.” Residents may bring their guests any time there isn’t a scheduled program. Residents have first priority of the pool area.
Do residents do laps with kick boards or other equipment for lap swims?
Some residents swim laps with kick boards and others use the noodles or aqua dumbbells while water walking.
The hot tub and spa – tell us about this Wellness Center amenity.
The spa is popular after the Aqua classes as part of their cool down and relaxation time. It also becomes social time as they sit and relax with the jets on, talking and laughing with their friends. Some people only come to use the spa because of joint pain.
What is the most popular class? Why?
Aqua Challenge is the most popular class because it provides a good cardio and strength workout for all levels. Those who like the challenge can push themselves to their limit and those who like to take it easy can go at a slower pace and modify some of the movements.
What is the best class for beginners?
Aqua Basic is the best because it is slower paced and focuses on strength, range of motion, and balance.
What is the best class for life-long swimmers?
Aqua Challenge or Aqua Free Time
What hours is the pool open? Are there any special dos and don’ts?
The pool is open from 5:00 am – 10:00 pm. The programming hours are listed on the Fitness Calendar in the back of the monthly Springtimes. Hydration is important! Even though you feel like you’re not working as hard, you still need to drink plenty of water before and after your exercise in the water. It’s even more important to be hydrated if you spend time in the spa because of the warmer temperature. Always get out of the water if you experience dizziness, cramping, or chest pain.
Do any of the Springmoor Fitness Instructors have a swimming background?
Becky Boulo is our head Aquatic Instructor. Swimming has been a big part of her life. She taught swimming lessons all through college and even taught Swim 101 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Becky ran summer camps for the Aleut and Yupik Indians in Northern Alaska Villages through a program to help children learn to swim to reduce the rate of drowning. Becky also taught Aqua Fitness classes in the 1980’s when it first became popular. When she moved to North Carolina, Becky helped start the Summer Swim Team in her subdivision where her daughter started at the age of 5 and is now a collegiate swimmer at the University of Idaho. Becky has been teaching at Springmoor for over 5 years!
The rest of the fitness staff holds various certifications and helps teach some of the aquatic classes.
The Capital Area Greenway system in Raleigh has over 100 miles of trails. And the 3,700-acre system continues to grow! Have you walked a trail lately?
The 28 trails are located throughout Wake County and make for a great walk around the lake, through the woods or to a neighboring park. Some are short half-mile walks while others average one or two miles. The longest is the Neuse River Trail from Falls Lake Dam to the Wake-Johnston County Line. This trail is 27.5 miles long.
Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director has taken residents to parts of the Neuse River Trail many times. The bird watching, photography and hiking (leisurely strolling or power walking) are always a favorite with our group. Finding the turtles lined up on a log for a sunbath or seeing the heron in the middle of the lake is an added bonus.
The shorter trails at The North Carolina Museum of Art highlight the outdoor art exhibits and the local foliage garden, an Amphitheatre and a water exhibit. There are more than a dozen outdoor works of art in the park. Spanning over 162 acres, this is the nation’s largest outdoor museum park. And while you are there, you can enjoy more than 40 galleries inside the museum too.
The Raleigh Rose Garden is one of three accredited gardens in the Carolinas. The grounds include sixty beds with 56 varieties of roses. A walk around this park will leave you speechless. The J.C. Raulston Arboretum is another one of Raleigh’s favorite gardens. Nationally acclaimed, this garden has one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants adapted for the Southeast. J.C. Raulston started the arboretum in 1975. He came to NC State University to teach in the Department of Horticultural Science and developed the facility as a living laboratory for his students and the faculty. The gardens have grown to ten and a half acres and achieved international recognition for its plant collections. You can enjoy a different walk around the gardens each season as the plantings continue to change with the season.
Ready to tackle the longest trail? The Neuse River Greenway Trail offers everything from winding boardwalks over the water to agricultural fields. The 27.5 mile trail is completely paved, making it an easy walk or a great bike ride. There are seven bridges over the Neuse River including two beautiful suspension bridges. A part of this walk includes a segment of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a path from the Outer Banks to the Great Smoky Mountains. Our group has enjoyed many segments of this beautiful park.
Prefer to stay in the neighborhood? Springmoor has paved sidewalks throughout our 42-acre campus that make walking easy. The community’s landscaping continues to change with the seasons – the cherry trees, azaleas and dogwoods will soon be in full bloom. The vegetable gardens on the South Village campus were mulched and tilled just yesterday. If walking around your own garden and digging in the dirt is more your style, you can enjoy a day in the sunshine a few simple steps away from home. Continue reading →
Line up, step up, turn it up and let’s start dancing…
…with The Temptations.
You got a smile so bright
You know you could have been a candle
I’m holding you so tight
You know you could have been a handle
The way you swept me off my feet
You know you could’ve been a broom
The way you smell so sweet
You know you could’ve been some perfume
Well you could’ve been anything that you wanted to
And I can tell
The way you do the things you do, ah baby, the way you do the thing you do, the way you do the things you do….
Achy Breaky Heart, Sweet Home Alabama: the music makes you want to move. The dance steps are easy – grapevines, step touch, mambo, and shuffles. Then twist and repeat. Each dance consists of a number of walls.
The wall is the direction the dancers face at any given time. With one-wall dances all dancers face the same direction in a line. In a two-wall dance, everyone faces forward and then repeats the step combination after turning 180 degrees. The samba is an example of this style dance. The four-wall dance, similar to the hustle, has the dancer make a quarter turn after each sequence. The choreography is easy once you learn a few basic steps. The music is great, turn it up…
Big wheels keep on turning
Carry me home to see my kin
Singing songs about the south-land
I miss ‘ole’ ‘bamy once again
And I think it’s a sin, yes
Well I heard Mister Young sing about her
Well I heard old Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A southern man don’t need him around anyhow
Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I’m coming home to you
Kari Richie, our Wellness Center Director, leads two classes each week for our residents. As a six year old, she began her dance career. Hip Hop, Jazz and Pom were her favorites. Competitive in high school and then as a JV Dance Team Coach in college, she knows how to lead an exciting workout while letting the music make you move. The speed and intricacy of the choreography make line dancing a class where beginners can feel comfortable and then continue to advance as each member finds their rhythm.
Line Dancing has proven to be a perfect exercise for those that need to work on their coordination and balance. The quick movements are good for increasing brain memory and heart health. With any weight-bearing exercise your bones get a good work out and help increase your bone density.
Doctors and therapists are now finding that patients with early signs of Parkinson’s disease greatly benefit from exercise with patterned movements such as line dancing. The repetition of the steps helps improve speed, balance and movement in everyday tasks.
So put on your dancing shoes; the 1950’s Madison, the 1960’s San Francisco Stomp or even the early 1800’s European polka and waltz, can all be found in the origins of line dancing. You’ve done the steps in your youth! What better way to spend your Monday mornings or Thursday afternoons than with Kari and a room filled with pop music and friends? Join us for a class in the Great Room or at The Wellness Center. Your bones, your muscles and your attitude will all be glad you came to class. Continue reading →
January is the month to set new goals for the year. After the merry month of December, exercising and eating healthier are at the top of everyone’s list. Our Wellness Director, Kari Richie, and our Instructors, Kris Lawyer and Becky Boulo, offer a few suggestions to get you started this month and keep you motivated and on-track throughout the year.
What suggestions do you have for setting an effective health and wellness New Year’s Resolution?
Make S.M.A.R.T. goals: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC, and TIMELY. Write it down or tell somebody to help keep you accountable! Set a daily time daily to exercise, start small and add to it as you become successful.
How do you suggest residents set a goal/strategy for using the Wellness Center?
You have to make a plan! Meet with the fitness staff if you don’t know where to start. They will show you how to use the center and what classes best suit your needs. Write the class on your calendar and mark it with a star when you finish!
How does the staff help make a plan for residents?
The staff can do a fitness assessment and will make recommendations based on the individual’s needs, goals, and interests. If you have recently had Physical Therapy we coordinate with PT. If it is to lose weight, we can suggest cardio that is appropriate for you. And if it is to gain strength we can suggest classes or specific exercises and machines.
Do you help with diet as well as exercise? Any suggestions for better eating habits?
We refer residents to our Sodexo Dietitians on campus. They will do a free consultation and answer dietary questions related to the Springmoor menu and personal dietary needs. The most basic advice is to drink plenty of water, avoid sugar and processed foods and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
For a newcomer – what is the best machine and/or class to start with?
The Fitness Combo classes are a great place to start. We offer them at several different levels. Depending on the person, the Nu-step or Treadmill are great machines for endurance.
For a resident who likes to be outside walking but the weather keeps them inside for a few months – what do you suggest?
The hallways… we have plenty of them! Find a friend or neighbor and explore a different part of the campus. There are 3 or 4 floors in most every building. Also swimming and aqua fitness classes are great alternatives in the winter. Water walking is a great exercise!
What is the most popular class?
What is the most popular machine?
For those who are motivated with a group and for those who prefer the quiet: What day and time is the Wellness Center the busiest? And what time is it empty?
Monday, Wednesday and Friday are a popular routine. It seems to be less busy on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
Do you have any new classes planned for 2017? Any new outings, races or competitions planned?
We just sent out a survey to get feedback from the residents. We hope to plan some new programs such as Pure Cardio, Exercise for Arthritis, Pilates, 4-week Floor Exercise, 4-week Barre Fitness, and 6-week Balance Training. Continue reading →
If you are trying to find our new residents, Sally and John Neal, check the Fitness Center first! These two arrived at Springmoor in June and have taken advantage of many of our exercise classes, the saltwater lap pool, the surrounding parks and neighborhoods, the area tennis courts and golf courses. They love to be outside working in the garden or going for a run. Active would be the first word that comes to mind when you describe Sally and John.
In the Garden
Sally is a certified NC Master Gardener. She is in the process of transferring her membership from Lee County to Wake County as she plans to work at the Southern Ideal Home Show, and the North Carolina State Fair. She has been an active volunteer with this state-supported organization since 1998. Her speciality is plant propagation especially with African Violets. Sitting in her bay window were two vases of freshly cut curly willow that she was rooting. She said this will be “a perfect added touch for her holiday floral arrangements.”
On the Court
John loves the tennis court. Singles or doubles, a tournament or a challenge match, he is happy to have a racquet in his hand. He and his doubles partner, a former Wake Forest University Tennis Team player, have traveled across the southeast playing in tournaments. They are practicing again at a much more steady pace now that John and Sally are back in Raleigh.
At the Pool
If they are not in the garden or on the tennis court, you will see them downstairs at the Pathways Wellness Center Pool. Three days a week is their plan. John swims a minimum of a mile each day (yes, that is 72 lengths and he usually adds another 6 or 8 laps just to be sure he counted correctly). Sally joins him on the weekends and when she is not in her Tai Chi or Line Dancing classes. She says that Tai Chi is great for balance and working her muscles. She loves the new class and the instructor’s technique. Although she has been taking classes for 8 years prior to their Springmoor move, she continues to learn something new with each class. Tai Chi is before lunch, Line Dancing is after lunch and Swing Dancing is their new Sunday activity at the Elks Club.
Around the Neighborhood
Not only do they take advantage of all that Springmoor has to offer but they are out and about in the neighborhood too! John can be seen most mornings on his four to five mile run, down Sawmill and Lead Mine through Baileywick Park and back to Dunkin Donuts for his early morning cup of coffee. Walking, running, exploring – an eight time marathon runner – John uses his GPS to track his miles, his calories and his path. He says one of Springmoor’s greatest assets is its neighborhood location. Nestled into rolling hills and greenways, there is always a new route to discover. On a sunny day, you can find him on the paths at Umstead State Park or the North Carolina Art Museum Greenway. (Only 15 minutes from their new home – great when he wants to go for a longer run.).
Grab the leash and let’s go outside! Dog owners know that their furry friends will fill their hearts with love but did you know that they also provide countless health benefits too?
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) tell us that owning a dog can have positive effects on your health. “The findings show that pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels — all of which can ultimately minimize their risk for having a heart attack down the road. For those who have already experienced a heart attack, research also indicates that patients with a dog or a cat tend to have better recovery rates. These benefits are thought to be connected with pets’ tendency to help reduce or at least control their owners’ overall stress levels.”
Having a furry friend also increases the opportunity for exercise and outdoor activity while also giving you a wonderful opportunity for socialization. Countless studies show dogs are great for those with rheumatoid arthritis too. Keeping your muscles moving is the best thing you can do to stay limber and keep your aches and pains away. Springmoor has numerous paved paths that crisscross the campus making a with walk your dog a great opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and our beautiful landscaped grounds. It’s an easy walk to Unleashed, the pet store in the Stonehenge Shopping Center too! Continue reading →