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Chair Exercise is Fun! March 28, 2019 10:12

"A friend and I started a "senior exercise" class at church. We watched many videos before choosing this one to use. It is great!!                                               - Jan D.

 

Chair Exercise DVD Videos 


Kind Words from Facebook Fan Barbara S. February 27, 2019 09:46

Kind Words from Facebook Fan Barbara S.

I've been using the Stronger Seniors videos since 2013 in peer-led exercise classes at our town hall in Richford, NY. They have been very popular with our exercisers, who range in age from mid-50s to mid-80s. I appreciate Anne Pringle Burnell's coaching style and respectful attitude, especially after reviewing another DVD where the instructor was condescending to the elderly demonstrator (i.e. "Isn't she cute!"). - Barbara S.

 

Chair Exercise for Seniors


Growing old is such an inevitable part of life it should be embraced with a light heart and years worth of wisdom and planning. January 1, 2019 15:46

Quite understandably, few look forward to the twilight of their life and all that it brings in its wake — deteriorating health, loss of vigour, restricted mobility, increasing dependence on others, not to mention a sense of foreboding and anxiety. Yet, ageing is an inevitable part of life that one has to learn to cope with willy-nilly.

At 74, I’ve found that old age need not necessarily be a period of physical and mental decline — though some ‘erosion’ is unavoidable — if one prepares oneself for it adequately in advance. First and foremost it’s imperative to prepare to accept old age all brace for all the restrictions or limitations it imposes on one’s mobility or ability to do things that one did when younger.

Equally important is the need to adopt a positive attitude towards life. Darkly regarding old age as the evening of one’s life must be avoided at all costs if one is to weather and overcome the difficulties and irritants that life is bound to throw up. An optimistic frame of mind or a light-hearted approach does help. Indeed, nothing prevents one from looking at the sunny side of life even in one’s sunset years. American statesman Bernard Baruch, who lived to a ripe old age, once remarked, “To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am!” And, when asked his age, British satirist Jonathan Swift once quipped evasively, “I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth!” Is there a cleverer way to parry questions about one’s age?

Also vital is the need for the elderly to stay physically and mentally active in order to keep geriatric health problems at bay, especially Parkinson’s disease. Regular physical exercise coupled with the pursuit of a hobby or pastime that keeps one mentally and usefully engaged, is the perfect antidote for the prolonged spells of ennui that plague the elderly. Keeping abreast of current affairs — political, economic and social — also does help to keep boredom away. And the spicier the social gossip or grapevine, the better.

My former British boss, based in Edinburgh and now a spry 84, still pursues his passion for fishing with a like-minded octogenarian friend whenever the weather permits. They jointly maintain a boat fitted with an outboard engine and like nothing better than to go off trout-fishing on their own. Further, he remains extremely keen to know what’s happening in Munnar’s tea plantations, over which he once ably presided as General Manager. More importantly, advancing years haven’t blunted his sense of humour which remains as robust as ever.

In fact, the role of humour and fun in dispelling gloom in old age cannot be overstressed. These indispensables are the spice of life guaranteed to bring cheer and bonhomie, besides keeping one’s mind off life’s grim realities. The elderly should let humour pep up their lives regularly by hobnobbing with those known to be witty and funny. And letting one’s hair down occasionally — the little that remains of it, at any rate — can certainly do no harm so long as one doesn’t overdo things or get carried away by American statesman Benjamin Franklin’s flippant remark that “There are more old drunkards around than old doctors!”

Old age, of course, gives one an opportunity to take stock of one’s life dispassionately and, at leisure, sift through and analyse one’s successes and failures, achievements and shortcomings notched up over the years.

Companionship, of course, is vital for the elderly. No human being is an island and isolating oneself from society, as the aged often tend to do, is not at all advisable. On the other hand, socialising — to howsoever limited an extent — can inject refreshing variety into the drab routine of a senior citizen’s life and give it a much-needed boost. There’s no substitute for staying connected with one’s contemporaries.

Old age, of course, gives one an opportunity to take stock of one’s life dispassionately and, at leisure, sift through and analyse one’s successes and failures, achievements and shortcomings notched up over the years. It’s also the time when the elderly inevitably reach ‘anecdotage’. They turn nostalgic and love to recall “those good old days” when they were young and life was radically different from what it is today. They try to pass on the benefit of their varied experiences to the younger generation though the latter seldom has the time, patience, or inclination to hear them out. In such circumstances penning down one’s experiences is a good way of keeping oneself usefully engaged in old age. One never knows — one’s memoirs may make the bestseller list some day!

True, physical debility will be a stumbling block for many, quite literally. Ageing and stiffening body joints will ‘creak’ in protest and make mobility difficult — something one should learn to take in one’s stride stoically. Some of the more spirited among the elderly resort to the pretence of acting and behaving as if they are not as old as they really are. This game of ‘make-believe’ is indeed known to help in making light of one’s physical infirmities.

Above all, peace of mind, which everyone seeks but few are fortunate to find, is absolutely necessary. It’s the vital and efficacious balm that brings equanimity to one’s life, helping to salve the inevitable discomforts, irritants and problems of ageing. And, of course, it does help to promote overall health besides physical and mental well-being.

The Biblical lifespan of three score and ten years is now a thing of the past. Thanks to dramatic advances in medical science and technology, we can now expect to live well beyond 90 years and perhaps even longer, given reasonably satisfactory health. And this, assuredly, isn’t wishful thinking. Indeed, it is said there are more nonagenarians and centenarians around today than ever before, negating American humourist Josh Billings’ caustic observation, “Three score years and ten are enough. If a man can’t suffer all the misery he wants in that time, he must be numb!”

Admittedly, many hope for longevity without the inherent disadvantages of growing old. However, trying to put off ageing is futile and unrealistic (no matter what such proponents may tell us to the contrary) for it’s an integral and essential part of life that can never be reversed. So we must resign ourselves to growing old (since it’s the only method known so far of living a long time!). And in the process let’s try to make life as fulfilling and meaningful as possible.


New Book....Love Your Age April 22, 2018 19:40

The Small-Step Solution to a Better, Longer, Happier Life, by Barbara Hannah Grufferman

Chair Exercise DVD Video


About Anne Pringle Burnell February 1, 2018 15:48 2 Comments

Anne Pringle Burnell created and developed the Stronger Seniors™ Chair Exercise DVD Video Programs for older adults and people with disabilities, injuries, or chronic conditions.  


Nutrition and Exercise for Seniors November 13, 2017 12:15

Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice shaped by many elements, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, availability of food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health. For a colorful visual of MyPlate and the 5 food groups, download What's MyPlate All About?.  There's also a link for Physical Activity.

Take a look at A Brief History of USDA Food Guides to learn more about previous food guidance symbols. 

If you want to improve your quality of life, this government site may just be for you!

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos for Seniors


Do You Have an Exercise Buddy? August 28, 2017 08:37

Seniors program shows the benefits of socializing and exercise....

A seniors program that combines exercise and socializing for people in the early stages of dementia and their care partners is taking place weekly at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre.

Minds in Motion is currently being offered as part of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. First Link dementia support to create an opportunity for people with dementia and their care partners to connect with others, make new friends and have fun.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise

First started in Victoria in 2009, the program made its way to Maple Ridge a year and a half ago.  The reason it was started, explained Kate Turnbull, Minds in Motion coordinator with the Alzheimer Society of B.C., is that there was a gap in programming for people with dementia.

“There is lots of programming that is for the person with dementia and there is programming for care givers. But not a lot that brings both together. That was the big thing,” said Turnbull.

“It’s evolved over time to be more specifically for people in the early stages of dementia,” she said.

The program starts off with 45 minutes of light exercise followed by another 45 minutes of social time.

Lori Briggs, B.C. Parks and Recreation Association supervisor of fitness leaders, heads up the fitness portion.

Briggs has specialized in seniors fitness for the last 35 years and has worked with a variety of groups including people with Parkinson’s, or stroke recovery and Osteofit.

For Minds in Motion, the exercises that are not any different than a normal seniors fitness class, it is Briggs’ patience and knowledge of dementia that makes the class unique.

If a person with dementia is getting confused she may stop the exercise early, if she sees someone getting frustrated or not being able to understand a movement, she will switch to another exercise.

Briggs has been trained by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to recognize symptoms of dementia. She knows how to introduce exercises and is more aware about what might fluster somebody or make them more agitated.

If Briggs sees somebody kind of daydreaming and in their own zone she will say their name and suggest they try the activity being performed. If somebody doesn’t change legs or arms when they are doing an exercise she will make a suggestion that they try the other leg and if they don’t she moves on. If an activity is frustrating for an individual she will change the exercise completely for the whole group.

“I never say right or left I just say let’s take our leg and whatever leg they pick up and start with is fine with me,” said Briggs in a soft, calm voice, adding that the most important thing is that the participants feel successful.

“We want them to feel less stressed and just feel like they are part of the group and accepted. That is really important,” she continued.

Another thing Briggs does to make the participants feel comfortable is she always lets them know that if they are having a good day they can do whatever they can and if they are having an off day that it’s okay to stop when ever they want.

“It makes them feel like I don’t have to do this if I don’t want to,” said Briggs.

Briggs works the muscles that strengthen the core of an individual.

“What I try to teach are exercises that are designed to improve quality of life as well as balance and agility. Which is preventing falls and those kind of things,” she explained.

She teaches both sitting standing exercises and uses resistance bands and different sized balls for agility games such as throwing them up in the air and catching them or passing a ball around a circle.

During social time participants play a variety of games like Jenga, where you remove blocks from a tower without it falling over, the card game UNO, trivia and sometimes even ping pong.

Sometimes the games are modified slightly if there are persons in the group that are finding the games too challenging.

“Again with social time it is really about making that person feel successful, making them feel like a part of the group,” said Turnbull.

”In UNO there are all sorts of cards that do different things other than just the numbers and the colours. If I have somebody who is really struggling I will take those cards out so the game is more simplified,” she said.

Turnbull will also play a reminiscent activity with the group where she will ask them if, for example, they remember a time without car seats.

”For people with dementia the memories that normally go first are the more short term memories whereas they tend to keep their long term memory stuff from when they were kids longer,” said Turnbull.

“So those reminiscent games they tend to enjoy them because they have those memories from when their kids were young or from when they were kids themselves,” she said.

One of the great things about this program is everyone has training in how to deal with people who have dementia.

Also, Turnbull added, the care partner is also connecting with people in the same situation as themselves.

”There is a feeling of support. Even though it is not a support group, they are getting a bit of support from having other people around them,” said Turnbull.

Even if a participant does not want to participate in the activities they are also welcome to enjoy the refreshments and chat with other people.

Briggs always stays until the very end of the class even though she could leave after the exercise portion.

”I find it’s important for me so that I have that connection with them as well because I think it’s part of knowing the person’s past. I just enjoy it,” she said.

Minds in Motion takes place from 10:30 a.m. to noon every Friday except for holidays at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre, 12150 224 Street.


Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in the US 1994-2004 June 30, 2017 15:54

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2009-10, an estimated 68% of the U.S. Population was considered obese or overweight.

The high prevalence of obesity is a concern, because it increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.


Eating well, staying Active and Mental Exercises Can Reverse Physical Frailty in Seniors June 21, 2017 12:26

The important message from our studies is that frailty is not an inevitable part of aging. There is much that older people can do for themselves to avoid becoming frail and disabled, so it is vital that they pay attention to good quality diet and nutrition, engage in physical exercise, 

Overweight but Frail Seniors Benefit from Aerobics and Strength Training June 19, 2017 10:34

Overweight but Frail Seniors Benefit from Aerobics and Strength Training, according to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

When You Should Not Exercise May 16, 2017 17:50

Exercise does the body good, but it's not always a good idea. You know that exercising is important and can make you feel good, but here are some instances when exercise can be dangerous.

Listen to your body and the cues it is giving you and decide if exercise is right at that time,”

If you have a fever…

Stay home and rest. A fever shows that the body’s immune system is battling an infection - - and doesn't need to deal with stress from exercise on top of that. If you decide to exercise with a fever, be alert for overheating and dehydration, since body fluids decrease when you have a fever.

If you have a cold…

A cold can make you miserable, but it doesn't rule out exercise. Experts say moderate- intensity workouts are OK when you have a common cold. If you go to a gym when you have a cold, use hand sanitizer and wipe off any surfaces you touch so you don’t contaminate your gym buddies. The bottom line: It's understandable if you choose to take it easy, but exercising with a cold doesn't seem to make you sicker.

If you have the flu…

Head to your sofa, not the gym. Skip your workout until you recover. With the flu comes a fever, so heed the rule not to exercise when you have a fever.

Asthma Flare-up?

If the flare-up was due to a respiratory infection, skip your workout for a few days and see a doctor if symptoms persist. Otherwise, if your doctor has said exercise is safe for you, and your asthma is well-controlled, it may be appropriate to work out. Be sure to start slowly and warm up for 10 minutes. Low-to-moderate intensity, intermittent exercise, or

If you have sore muscles….

 You can go to the gym, but make it a light-intensity workout, such as walking instead of running. It's also OK to skip your workout and rest, if the soreness is too severe. And if your muscles are super sore because you overdid it the last time you exercised, make a point of making your workouts more reasonable.

 

Chair Exercise for Older Adults

 


Episcopal Homes of Minnesota May 6, 2017 13:25

Episcopal Homes of Minnesota in Saint Paul! The residents there are using our Balance and Posture program. Apparently, the residents are also doing Chair Yoga with some little ones as part of their intergenerational programming.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Videos


Why is Exercise and Physical Activity Important for Older Adults? May 5, 2017 10:40

If you’ve never exercised, or if you stopped exercising for some reason, you need not resign yourself to a sedentary (unhealthy) life. Programs like Stronger Seniors are designed just for you- to help you start slowly, and build up to a routine you will enjoy and stick with. 

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Videos


Better Health - Diet vs. Exercise - Part 3 February 20, 2017 16:28

Seniors enjoying their healthy longevity

Better Health - Diet vs. Exercise January 27, 2017 14:47

If you have decided to make make 2017 a more healthful year for you, your lifestyle choices will change. What course will you chart? Diet? Exercise? How much? How little?  ??

Exactly What Does Exercise Do To the Brain December 7, 2016 12:08

Effect of exercise on brain health With aging, however, proteins called brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels fall. The decline is considered one reason brain function deteriorates in the elderly. Certain types of exercise, namely, aerobic exercises that get your heart pumping, are thought to counteract these drops and help restore youthful levels to better protect the aging brain and offset dementia.


Mild Exercise May Reduce Arthritis Pain, says study November 3, 2016 21:07

Arthritis is a clear sign of poor bone health that approaches primarily as one starts aging. It mainly affects the joints and people suffering from it complain of joint pain and stiffness. 

Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, swelling, and decreased range of motion of the affected joints.

There are medications and physiotherapy to avoid aches and pains related to the condition, but a new study has suggested that mild exercise could help reduce arthritis pain in the elderly.

The study says that, low-impact exercise program helps to decrease pain, improve mobility and enhance quality of life in older adults with arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions.

 

"Joints will often stiffen if not used and muscles will weaken if not exercised. Our bodies are meant to move, and inactivity leads to weakness and stiffness, and joints with arthritis often worsen with inactivity," said Theodore Fields, Managing Director of Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), US.

Participants performed chair and floor mat exercises using stretch bands and other gentle exercises. Chinese breathing techniques and meditation were also integrated into the program.

"The study results are consistent with the experience of rheumatologists and with prior studies showing that exercise, even of mild degree, helps with pain. Getting people up and moving does appear to help with mood, pain and overall functioning," Fields added.

The study was presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting.


An Age Old Opinion on Exercise October 21, 2016 16:41

“All parts of the body if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well developed, and age slowly; but if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth, and age quickly.” –            Hippocrates    

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program


Best Exercises for Functional Longevity October 21, 2016 15:42

Let’s face it.  Quantity without quality is no fun.  Quality without quantity is a ripoff. You really need both quality and quantity to get the most out of retirement years.  You need functional longevity.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program


Fall Prevention: Combating the Risks September 22, 2016 11:23

About 27,000, Americans over the age of 65 die each year from falls, says Kathleen Cameron, director of the National Falls Prevention Resource Center.

“That’s one every 19 minutes,” Cameron says. “It’s a major health problem."

With an aging population and increases in chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, injuries and death from falling will likely increase, Cameron says.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program


Poststroke exercise – the benefits September 20, 2016 13:06

This review focuses on the benefits of both exercise and cognitive training for stroke patients.

Primarily, increased physical activity had several benefits for stroke patients including weight control, reduced risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer and depression.

The authors identified two types of exercise used in post-stroke training; aerobic exercise (AE) to improve cardiovascular fitness and resistance exercise (RE) to improve muscle strength.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program


Is Yoga for Seniors? September 19, 2016 10:17

If the yoga sessions accommodate personal physical limitations, there's no reason a senior can't start this 4,000-year-old practice. It's a good idea to find out exactly what you'll be doing in your yoga class and discuss it with your doctor first.

Yoga has been shown to help alleviate many of the health problems faced by older adults. In fact, the many benefits of yoga are supposed to combat the aging process.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Program