With retirement in Florida, the conventional wisdom for seniors is time spent at the beach or by the pool, enjoying the sun with a drink in hand. Relaxing can be Margaritaville-sweet for residents at a retirement community like John Knox Village in sunny South Florida, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise has its merits as well.
As long-time subscribers to the Seven Dimensions of Wellness, John Knox Village’s staff works very hard to provide all seven dimensions, including Physical Wellness, for its 900-strong residents. To learn more about the Seven Dimensions of Wellness, go to this website.
Located within walking distance of its heated swimming pool, John Knox Village’s Fitness Center is one of the most popular destinations on the 70-acre campus, in Pompano Beach.
To that end, everything begins at the Fitness Center with a private one-on-one fitness evaluation where a trainer initiates an exercise regimen to keep the resident active and healthy in their independent living within the Florida retirement community.
“We review the new resident’s medical history, discuss their previous experience with exercise and what their current goals are,” says John Knox Village Certified Fitness Professional Heather Guthrie.
The evaluation tests a resident’s strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular and muscular endurance. One of the four staff trainers leads the resident through a senior fit test with norms having been established by testing some 7,000 people nationwide aged 60 to 94. The trainer uses these results and issues a report comparing the resident’s outcomes to other people in their specific age demographic.
For new residents seeking to use the Fitness Center this evaluation is necessarily comprehensive, but there is more to the program.
“We also do an exercise prescription,” Heather adds. “We set up four more appointments—at a minimum—for each resident, so that we can show them the gym and the equipment. We make sure they’re comfortable using everything and safe as well. If they’ve already been exercising, it’s a good opportunity for us to tweak the resident’s workout based on what they have been doing before and what their test results show.”
For example, residents complete a “sit and stand” lesson where they must stand up and sit down in a chair, with arms crossed, as often as possible within 30 seconds. Upper-body strength is tested with trainers seeing how many bicep curls they can do in a 30-second time span. Men use an eight-pound weight, while women curl with a five-pound weight.
The tests are practical as well; meant to translate to residents’ real lives. For example, with the bicep curl, the weight approximates a gallon of milk that a resident would pull out of the refrigerator while living independently.
Residents also complete an agility test where they must stand up and walk eight feet around a cone and sit down again as fast as they can.
“Depending on how fast the resident can do it, this tells us if they’re average, above average or below average,” Heather says. “If they’re below average, they’re at a higher risk of falling.”
John Knox Village residents’ reactions to the hard work might surprise some.
“Most residents who complete the evaluation are very impressed,” Heather observes. “They love it. The fitness evaluation is very thorough, and, a lot of times, seniors discover something new they didn’t know about themselves.”
John Knox Village residents who complete the fitness evaluation are given access to the Fitness Center whenever they want without any supervision. Want to do sit-ups at 4 a.m.? Then, John Knox Village is the right place for you when you are looking for independent retirement in Florida!
If you’re interested in learning more about John Knox Village as a potential retirement-in-Florida option, call (800) 998-5669 or visit this page.
— Michael Barnes, John Knox Village Web Production Specialist