Our oldest Cornerstone members (seniors) and youngest (summer campers) participate in our Young & Young at Heart classes – a series of generational events that brings them together for active fun and benefits all. Photos by Adrianna Parsons Photography.
Let me guess, it probably isn’t what motivated you in your 20s and 30s! And quite possibly you didn’t even actively exercise during those years where we were all busy with jobs, life and kids! I know I always found it hard to make the time back then. Plus, I always felt strong and healthy and was constantly on the move. But as we get older, life changes, priorities shift and our needs are different. So, what now? What keeps us motivated to exercise rather than taking the easy path straight to the recliner?
Having been instructing and working with Seniors for over a decade, plus inching my way to the golden age myself, I think I have a pretty good idea of some of the answers to this question. But I decided to put it to my Seniors and ask them. Here is what they said:
“I feel so much better when I exercise and it helps me with my leg problems” – Janet
“To maintain and improve my physical, mental, social and emotional well-being” – Carol
“My goal is to die healthy!” – Bob
“Keeping up with my grandchildren!” – Ed
“I’m in the best shape of my life due to exercise (as a result of a heart attack) and I want to stay that way!” – Liz
“To be independent and no burden on my children” – Patricia
“To keep myself physically and mentally fit – at least as best I can!” Toni
“If you don’t use it, you lose it!” Pauline
So, reading through this list, what do you notice? I noticed that there were lots of exclamation points! These seniors are passionate about their exercise and the reasons they keep with it. They also cited exercise as restorative, using it to help repair the physical ailments that come with aging. And interestingly, seniors want to exercise not just for themselves, but for their family members. And finally, it is not just about the physical benefits, but the mental and social benefits as well.
As an instructor, it is my goal to keep our seniors motivated by making classes fun and by creating a positive social environment for everyone to enjoy. I want our seniors to get results, feel stronger and overcome physical issues. I want to make Cornerstone the “happy place” for seniors when they need a pick-me-up and a friendly face. From the front desk to housekeeping to fitness pros, we all have the same goal in mind.
So, if you are feeling short on motivation, take a look at this list, see what works for you, and maybe add your own. Write your motivational statement on a piece of paper, tack it up and read it to remind yourself why you need to get out the door and head to Cornerstone!
(And just as an aside, my favorite motivational statement was from Bob who said “My goal is to die healthy.” But I might add, “Or die trying!”)
Senior Fitness Classes and Special Learning Experiences
Cornerstone Clubs offers fun opportunities for active aging in addition to many senior fitness classes at our three locations. Check out our Lunch & Learns, which include a lecture and a healthy box lunch at our Warrington club in the Health & Wellness Center.
There are also special events – such as our seated tap lesson and special private showing of The Bucks County Playhouse show “42nd Street,” held in Summer 2018. We also offer Young at Heart classes – a series of classes that bring old and young people together and benefit both groups alike.
Pattie Beans-Clark, is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach, Fitness Instructor and Coordinator of Senior Programming at The Cornerstone Clubs.