Seniors Going To The Extreme To Stay Healthy With Bootcamp

Wednesday, March 2nd 2011, 7:14 pm
By: News 9

Kirsten McIntyre, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Regardless of your age, exercise can improve your quality of life. For seniors, the focus should be on cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises.

It's a daily ritual for walkers who stroll around a South Oklahoma City hospital. Ten times around equals two miles. For each step the walkers make-- they're headed in the right, healthy direction.

"When I don't walk, I sit too much and then I have trouble walking when I get up. It makes a lot of difference," said Genella Harper, who is part of a walking club.

"It makes you feel much better-- physically, mentally, and you have the social atmosphere also," said Joann Carter, who is part of a walking club.

Experts said walking provides a number of health benefits, including a healthier heart, weight loss, a reduction in blood pressure and an increase in muscle strength.

But if you're looking for more of a challenge try boot camp for seniors.

Madeline Boyer admitted she was a bit intimated when she heard the words "boot camp."

"At first I thought, Oh, what am I doing?' And yeah, it can get brutal," Boyer said.

But at 67 years old, she's feeling good about her health. She's recently lost 60 pounds and said exercise has made her stronger.

"It's better to wear out than rust out," Boyer said.

Gail Sullivan said boot camp provides variety. The classes are always different and the exercises can be done at your own pace.

"If they don't feel like they can do the more intense workout, I tell them what the modification is and they can do it a little easier for them," Sullivan said.

The key is staying active. Otherwise, as people age and normal everyday activities such as getting up and down out a chair can become increasingly difficult.

If that looks like something you'd like to get involved with, check with your local hospital. They'll tell you what exercise programs they offer.

For more information, call the Pacer Center at Integris at 405-949-3891.