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When it comes to fitness, there are many reasons seniors should stay physically active. Working out not only enhances flexibility and range of motion, it also decreases joint pain and stiffness and improves circulation. For these reasons and more, residents of Waltonwood Lake Boone, a premier senior living community, are improving their health one step at a time. Since the community opened its doors last fall, a group of residents formed a walking club with the help of Forever Fit Coordinator Candice Kiefer. They meet at least three times a week and follow a walking path inside the community. To provide more opportunities to enhance their workout, the community recently added stations along the path to encourage residents to try some new exercises. Each station has a sign that names the exercise, including wall push-ups and squats.

Resident Doyle Long, 81, is an active member of the group who is already seeing improvements to her health. She has always enjoyed walking, but realized she needed to exercise more after two bad falls in 2017. Since moving to Waltonwood Lake Boone, she continues to stay active by attending workout classes like Tai Chi, and she never misses a chance to join fellow walkers at the community.

“When I lived in the country I had to walk long distances to get to my neighbor’s house,” said Long. “That is where my love of walking began. You notice the difference it makes on your overall health and well-being, and that is rewarding. I am building muscle and can feel myself getting stronger as I continue to work out. It’s the best feeling, and I am thrilled we decided to start a walking club at Waltonwood Lake Boone. It’s great for our physical health, and the socialization that comes along with it is wonderful for our mental health. I am excited to continue walking and look forward to using the new exercise stations. We have been challenging ourselves as we go. At first I said I would only do 10 wall push-ups, but that has already increased to 15, and I am proud of that. I enjoy doing squats as well. They even named a station after me called the Doyle squat. Everything is modified for our safety, and we go at our own pace. It truly is a fantastic way to stay active, and I don’t have plans to stop anytime soon.”

“Our Forever Fit exercise program is the perfect way for residents to thrive in their own unique way,” said Kiefer. “We look for activities that are safe and beneficial for seniors, and walking checks both of those boxes. The walking club has been a success for residents, and we see more participation each time they meet up. The workout stations are an added bonus because not everyone is able to attend every class, so they allow residents to still work out on their own time. We try to keep everyone in the community active and motivated, and forming clubs and doing group exercises is one way to get people involved. I love seeing the determination in each resident as they start or continue their fitness journey, and I am here to help along the way.”

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