As the winter recedes, life speeds up. So too does life on Concordia campuses, as residents and employees take their activities outside, including exercise. Coincidentally, May happens to be National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, giving all the more reason to stretch the muscles and boost those heart rates.
Residents at Concordia have the opportunity to meet their physical fitness needs at all locations and across all care levels. Many Concordia residents prefer even simple exercises, others practice more unorthodox methods and some take advantage of amenities.
Many residents prefer even simpler, tried-and-true fitness regimens.
Concordia at Sumner resident Eugenia Sefton avidly walks the halls and the beautiful grounds for fun and fitness. She has walked every day since she arrived in her retirement living apartment in June 2014. She particularly enjoys walking in the warmer months.
“I enjoy the fresh air and the sounds of nature. I’ll walk and frequently see deer and other little critters. There are ponds that I pass by, where I’ll see blue herons, ducks and geese,” Eugenia said. “I just feel good walking.”
Sumner is one of five Concordia retirement living communities, and they all feature great walkable spaces. The other locations include Concordia Haven Apartments, Concordia of the South Hills, Highpoint at Rebecca and Concordia Village of Tampa.
During colder months, Eugenia walks inside instead. She still manages to about 2 miles a day by walking seven to nine laps throughout the building. The buildings connect, allowing Eugenia to diversify her routes.
“I don’t like treadmills, although, they do have treadmills,” Eugenia said. “The buildings are very long, and I just walk. I always use the steps,” she said. “I walk so many laps on one floor, then go to another floor and then a different building.”
We can’t all be Sidney Crosby, LeBron James or Derrick Brooks, but Concordia at Rebecca Residence residents can compete from the comfort of their chairs.
“We all connect because we have this healthy attitude about things,” said Catherine Heinlein, who has lived at the location for the past 13 months. “I have this buddy. He’s in a wheelchair too. When he came for the first time, he looked at me and said “Woohooo!” And I looked at him, and I said “Woohoo!”
They play hockey with pool noodles. Their goals are at the end of their line of chairs, and they try to smack the ball down the aisle to light the lamp.
For tennis, there’s still a net, but they swat at colorful, floaty balloons instead of fuzzy yellow balls. They could just as easily play volleyball instead, using their hands instead of racquets.
Sometimes the residents forget they’re exercising because they’re having fun.
“The group activities encourage people who may not think they can strive toward fitness,” Catherine said. “Everything seems to mount up to who you are and the way you feel. You have to be more positive in life too. God only gives you what you can handle,” Catherine said.
Some residents rediscover past fitness passions when moving into Concordia senior living.
“There was a span of years when I didn’t have access to a pool, and now that I do, I’m taking advantage of that,” said Arlene McGonigle, a Concordia Village of Tampa resident of six months.
Arlene enjoys swimming laps and joining water aerobics classes in the onsite pool. The heated pool stays at a comfortable temperature throughout the year and is handicap accessible. The pool also has a screened-in enclosure, an attached dressing room and an equally accessible Jacuzzi.
For Arlene, it’s an opportunity to remember the joys of swimming.
“This pool is in great condition, and it’s exposed to the sun,” Arlene said. “I can exercise comfortably, and it’s really good for general relaxation.”
By helping residents reach fitness goals, Concordia continues to facilitate a worry-free lifestyle. That part of Concordia’s mission doesn’t stop in May with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. It’s an everyday standard.
Founded in 1881, Concordia Lutheran Ministries is a faith-based, CARF-accredited Aging Services Network and recipient of the inaugural Pennsylvania Department of Aging Excellence in Quality Care Award. As one of the largest nonprofit senior care providers in the country, the organization serves 50,000 people annually through in-home care and inpatient locations in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and Tampa, Florida.
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