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Healthy resolve

Easy access to fitness is half the battle

Created date

December 21st, 2010

It s no surprise that focusing on health and fitness top this year s list of New Year s resolutions. It s also not surprising that for most of us, by March, no matter how good our intentions, these resolutions will have fallen by the wayside. But for thousands of people maintaining the resolve to get fit and live a healthful lifestyle is far less challenging when you live at an Erickson Living community like Charlestown and Oak Crest. We have lived at Charlestown for 19 months now, and I have been using the fitness center for 18 of those months, says John Kasuda, who underwent lumbar fusion surgery in 2002. Kasuda, who enjoyed an athletic lifestyle well into his 50s, now uses the Charlestown fitness center twice a week following a routine that includes squats, weights, fitness machines, and the stationary bike. In addition to building muscle tone and improving his balance, Kasuda says he has experienced a wealth of other health benefits. My cholesterol levels have dropped; my triglyceride levels are normal; I can walk further; and I have more energy, a more positive outlook, and I lost weight, says Kasuda. The added benefit of having the fitness center right down the hall and accessible through climate-controlled, glass-enclosed walkways makes sticking to his fitness routine stress-free. It s nice to be able to go and keep up with my fitness routine regardless of what the weather is like outside, says Kasuda.

Close to home

To help community members stay on track with their fitness goals, both Charlestown and Oak Crest also feature their own on-site medical centers staffed by full-time physicians and medical professionals, as well as on-site short-term rehab and an extended health care neighborhood known as Renaissance Gardens. With an impending back surgery, Charlestown resident Sally Pound hadn t anticipated searching for a new home. But after the residence she shared with a friend was listed for sale, she suddenly found herself in the middle of a search for a new place to live. I had to find an apartment, says Pound. But I also was concerned about where I would recover from my surgery. I had a couple of friends who were living at Charlestown and they invited me for lunch. I thought I would go just to see what it was like. When I visited I was surprised at how nice the community was and all of the amenities that were offered. Soon after, Pound spoke with Retirement Counselor Steffany Byers, who suggested she reserve and set up an apartment home, enabling her to recover from her surgery at Charlestown s short-term rehab center and then settle into her apartment. I chose my apartment and moved all of my furniture and belongings in, says Pound. Once that was taken care of, I had the surgery and went to Charlestown s rehab center. It was so nice being in the community and having the support of everyone around me. When I was back on my feet I was able to move right into my apartment. It was perfect! It was such a good experience. I had a great feeling before I even got to my apartment. I just love it here; it s been terrific! According to Oak Crest Retirement Counselor JoAnn Huebler, Kasuda s and Pound s stories are common. It s so inspiring to watch the people who move to our communities embrace the active lifestyle and amenities Charlestown and Oak Crest offer, says Huebler. Having amenities like the fitness center, pool, and medical center within walking distance of where you live is half the battle. I talk to people all the time who live here and say they haven t felt this good physically or emotionally in years. To me, that says it all. As for Pound and Kasuda: Pound now volunteers at Renaissance Gardens twice a month. Kasuda s fitness goals for 2011 include strengthening his legs, improving his balance, and increasing his stamina. He currently plays table tennis; practices tai chi; and enjoys gardening, walking, and golf.