Senior Fitness: Leave the Class Laughing

OAKLAND —  St. Joseph Mercy Oakland offers a senior fitness class at 15 locations, three times a week.  Every class is filled to capacity with a waiting list.  Why is this senior fitness class so special?

“I love the class.  I always leave the class laughing.  If I’m not feeling well when I arrive, I’m always feeling better when I leave.  I love the people, the instructor and the facility.  It’s so open and bright,” said 80-year-old Charlene Simmons.  Simmons has been attending the senior fitness class for 10 years.

“Our senior population, as they get into their golden years, often see a reduction in mobility and independence.  The senior fit courses are an opportunity for participants to exercise with  low-impact physical activity and movement.  It also facilitates a cohesive interaction and camaraderie with people in their community and it ultimately reduces isolation,” said David Bowman, MPA, director of community health, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.

Unique to the senior population, ages 55 and older, bone mass can be reduced as individuals age.  Using low-weights, careful movements, resistance bands and balls helps to reduce wear on ligaments.  The class incorporates floor and chair exercises that build strength and flexibility, as well as improve balance and cardiovascular fitness.

“The class helps me tremendously with my lower back issues.  There are certain exercises that I always look forward to doing.  After the stretches, I don’t have back pain.  The pain may return the next morning, but now I know how to safely stretch my back at home,“ said 67-year-old Beatrice Wright.IMG_1175.JPG

Many class participants have found themselves living more pain-free and healthier lives, since joining the class.  “I had a quadruple heart bypass and I had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) inserted in 2005.  My doctor said I must remain active.  After cardio rehab and after I retired, this was the class for me.  I recently saw my doctor and my heart has almost gone back to normal; in July they removed the ICD and didn’t replace it!  I’m sure my ability to work my heart muscle is why I have improved so much,” said 63-year-old Sharon Finley.

The results from the senior fitness classes move beyond physical activity.  As with many of St. Joe’s support classes, the camaraderie among participants is a direct result of the holistic approach to health.  The classes address the mental health, physical and social aspects of each person’s well-being.  “Physical activity and interactive programming addresses loneliness, depression and issues with mental health.  Addressing mental health is a high-bar focus of our senior programming,” said Bowman.

Many participants agreed that if they were not in the class, they would not maintain a regular schedule exercising.  Motivation can be difficult to achieve if you are on your own – but it’s not difficult if you have Beatrice Wright in your class.  When Wright sees the need, she leads the class in a motivating chant she created.

“I love the class.  The one thing I’ve learned in life, is not only do you need to remain physical, but in order to feel better, you have to laugh.  If you don’t laugh, your aches and pains will take you over.  I would recommend this class,” said Finley.

The classes are provided September through April on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Bowman hopes to address the waiting lists for the classes by collaborating with additional community organizations.  He is also considering enhancing the classes by integrating senior yoga into the courses.  “Coupling yoga into the senior fitness class will offer a dual utility.  The cardio combined with stretching and meditation reinforces the holistic approach of health we want to offer our senior population,” said Bowman.

“At 80, you begin to look at life differently.  I try to stay as fit as I can.  I see people who are 80, and some of them are broken down.  I’m trying to avoid that as long as possible, I know I won’t always be able to remain at my current level of fitness, but I’ll try as long as I can,” said Simmon.

About Senior Fit
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland sponsors a free Senior Fit program at 15 locations throughout Oakland County, from September through May.  Geared for adults age 55 and up, Senior Fit is aimed at improving stamina, lowering blood pressure and decreasing the risk of osteoporosis among senior adults through regular exercise. Please click here to view the flyer.

The consent form can be downloaded herePlease click here for Senior Fit orientation information.

Register Today for 2018 Youth Sports Symposium: Aug. 4

YouthSportsSymposiumFlyer(8.4.18)Register today for the 2018 Youth Sports Symposium on Aug. 4, 2018 at Whitmore Lake High School.

  • When: Saturday, August 4, 2018
  • Where: Whitmore Lake High School, 7430 Whitmore Lake Rd., Whitmore Lake, MI
  • Time: 8:00 a.m. – Noon
    • Registration/Check In:  8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    • Program: 8:30 a.m. – Noon
  • Registration Fee: $20   (Continental breakfast included.)

 

Register for 2018 Washtenaw County Heart Walk

2018-04-13 16_03_38-2018 Heart Walk Event Flyer (2).pdf - Adobe AcrobatANN ARBOR – Register for the American Heart Association’s Washtenaw County Heart Walk on Saturday, May 5 at Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is a proud sponsor of this annual event. See flyer

8 a.m. – Grounds Open / 5K Registration
8:30 a.m. – Timed 5K Begins
9 a.m. – Vendor Tables and Activities Begin

11 a.m. – Walk Begins
Free to Walk! | Timed 5K Run: $35
(5K includes finishers medal)

To register, visit: washtenawheartwalk.org

Join Us for our Summer Healthy Kick-Off – May 19

CANTON – Join us on Saturday, May 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. for our annual Healthy Kick-Off event at St. Joseph Mercy Canton Health Center. Print flyer

This free, fun-filled afternoon will feature bike helmets and fittings, digital fingerprinting, Health Exploration Station, health screenings, players from AFC Ann Arbor, a rock wall and teddy bear clinic.

Enjoy family fun including:

  • Arctic Edge Street Hockey
  • Family Exercise Mini Sessions
  • Free Bike Helmets and Fittings | Supply limited to first 100 kids
  • Health Exploration Station
  • Health Screenings: Skin Cancer, Blood Pressure and More
  • Meet Players from AFC Ann Arbor, Semi Pro Soccer Team
  • Rock Climbing Wall
  • Teddy Bear Clinic

We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, visit our website.

Listen to Rob Casalou on WJR’s ‘Food for Thought’

Rob Casalou
Rob Casalou, President and CEO, Mercy Health and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Mercy Health and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, spoke about food insecurity on WJR’s “Food for Thought” show with hosts Dr. Phillip Knight of the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Gerry Brisson of Gleaners, including how to improve access to fresh, healthy food and the role health care can play.

Click here for the playlist or listen to the full podcast

Save the Date: See, Test & Treat 2018

seetesttreat-logo
SeeTestTreatSaturday, April 14 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Women’s Health Center
5320 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

  • Cervical cancer screening
  • (Pap test), ages 21 – 64
  • HPV test
  • Breast exam
  • Mammogram, ages 40 – 64

For more information, call 734-712-7881 or visit stjoeshealth.org/see-test-treat

Share the Facebook Event

The Farm at St. Joe’s Kicks off CSA Registration

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ANN ARBOR – Registration is now open for The Farm at St. Joe’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program.

Get fresh produce all season from the Farm and local farm partners. Spots are limited, so reserve yours today!

What: Pick up a bag of fresh produce each week from The Farm at St. Joe’s.

When:
Spring CSA (or half share): March 28 – June 13 Registration closed
Summer CSA (or half share): June 20 – Sept. 20
Fall CSA (or half share): Sept. 26 – Dec. 12

Whole and half shares available (half shares pick up every other week).

Crops will include spinach, radishes, greens (spring); tomatoes, eggplant, kale (summer); potatoes, squash, greens (fall); and much more.

Learn more at www.stjoefarm.wordpress.com/csa or email thefarm@stjoeshealth.org 

Sign up for the session and size you want on the Classes and Events page:
www.stjoeshealth.org/classes

Join St. Joe’s Ann Arbor for the Great American Smokeout – Nov. 16

GreatAmericanSmokeoutANN ARBOR – Join St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor on Thursday, Nov. 16 for the Great American Smokeout, and take the pledge to quit tobacco use. St. Joe’s colleagues, patients and visitors are invited to take a smoke-free pledge or support loved ones taking the pledge by visiting tables at the following areas across St. Joe’s Ann Arbor: (See flyer)

Main Entrance | 5301 McAuley Drive
Ann Arbor Running Company will host a booth and join MOVE Wellness for some 15-minute exercise demonstrations.
Colleagues and visitors can enter for a chance to win $65 Couch to 5K classes and a free pair of shoes to help you step into your tobacco-free journey. You can also get information about the negative effects of e-cigarettes, as well as free tobacco cessation kits.

Reichert Health Center | 5333 McAuley Drive
“Ask the pharmacist” your questions about tobacco cessation tools.

Michigan Orthopedic Center | 5315 Elliott Drive
St. Joe’s social workers will be available to talk to cancer patients about tobacco cessation and wellness.

Radiation Oncology | 5303 Elliott Drive
Colleagues and visitors can receive giveaways and information about tobacco cessation.

Visit any of the locations to enter drawings for a turkey and vegetable tray giveaway.

Growing a Healthy Community Through Community Supported Agriculture

“I actually went to the grocery store again, and I bought kale again,” Amelia Reese said triumphantly as she picked up her weekly produce share at Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti.

“I love that people are buying kale even though we’re giving it you every other week,” Amanda Sweetman laughed, handing Reese a bag full of locally grown produce.

There’s no kale this week. Instead, Reese is taking home farm-fresh Swiss chard, beets, lettuce, jalapenos, sweet corn, beets and the pièce de résistance – a vine-ripened cantaloupe from Green Things Farm. Sweetman suggested using some of the melon to make a refreshing cantaloupe-infused water.

Reese is one of 40 people receiving a weekly community supported agriculture (CSA) share through a pilot program coordinated by The Farm at St. Joe’s and funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

Each Wednesday afternoon, Farm manager Amanda Sweetman and her team – often interns or volunteers – pack a van full of produce gathered from seven local farms and distribute them at the Parkridge Community Center. Many of the recipients are grandmothers or grandfathers, some of them take a 45-minute bus ride, and others are volunteers or staff members of the center, like Reese. Continue reading “Growing a Healthy Community Through Community Supported Agriculture”

8 Easy Tips to Start Exercising—Even if You Hate Working Out

by Olivia DeLong

This article was originally published on Sharecare.

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Exercise should be part of almost everyone’s weekly routine. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of injury and health conditions like heart disease and diabetes—and it makes you feel good. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week.

But what if you despise the treadmill? Or, what if you hate lifting weights? It’s okay—not everyone is going to run marathons or become bodybuilders. But most people can find an exercise right for them, even to do just casually.

Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist David Steinberg, MD, of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System talks through eight ways to jump-start your workout routine, no matter what your fitness level.

Continue reading “8 Easy Tips to Start Exercising—Even if You Hate Working Out”