Seniors work out with Presidential Challenge guidelines

Jasmine Phu

January 30, 2012

With one in three seniors age 65 and older predicted to fall annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, finding new ways to keep them fall-free is crucial. New York 1[1] reports that at the Abe Stark Senior Center in Canarsie, Brooklyn, seniors are working out with some unlikely guidelines in mind.

According to the source, the elders here work out under the Presidential Challenge guidelines that many elementary schools take part in to get kids fit.

The idea to use these rules, which require people to do a certain amount of sit-ups, pull-ups and cardio, for seniors came after Marianna Hernandez, the center’s assistant director, noticed how the challenged got her young kids moving.

“We saw a lot of our senior population is kind of stagnant,” Hernandez told the publication. “They don’t really move, they are immobile, they are stuck in homes. Since my kids had won the award, it worked so well with the kids, why not try it with the seniors? And it worked phenomenally.”

Now, seniors must take part in at least 60 minutes of daily activity to keep up with the program and the results are positive.

“I noticed some of the fellows here who do not do exercise, they can’t hardly walk,” 96-year-old Monty Garcia told the news outlet. “So getting up and doing exercise, walking around means a great deal for your body, your legs especially.”

Working out can be a great way for seniors to age in place gracefully, but sometimes falls do happen. Those living alone might want to install a medical alert system as an added precaution.

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