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Three keys to keeping your New Year’s resolution

Created date

December 31st, 2015
Fitness Coordinator Alice Hixson with resident Dona Browne
Alice Hixson with resident Dona Browne

If you’re like most people, you’ll be making a resolution this month to get healthier—an excellent goal, but one that is often easier said than done. You swear you’ll eat more vegetables and lean protein but then end up feeling too tired to cook, so it’s takeout or processed prepared foods once again. Or you plan to hit the gym on a regular basis, but icy winter roads keep you stuck at home.

For the people who live at Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., staying in good physical shape is much easier. With access to an on-site fitness center located just a short indoor walk from their homes, as well as several full-service restaurants that serve delicious balanced meals, Fox Run residents are set up for success. 

Key #1: Convenience

“We live in Michigan. We love our state, but anyone who lives here knows that the weather can change in an instant,” says Fox Run Fitness Coordinator Alice Hixson. “Having a fitness center right in your neighborhood without the need to go outside is a real plus when encouraging residents to stick to a plan.”

Fox Run’s state-of-the-art fitness center is equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines, NuSteps, Schwinn Airdynes, Kaiser resistance machines, a free-weight rack, and a physical therapy table for stretches. The fitness center is available to all community members free of charge. 

Residents are encouraged to do an assessment with one of the community’s fitness coordinators, who can show them how to use the equipment and provide tips for exercising safely.

“We go over the results of the assessment with them so they have a good idea of how they compare to their peers, matching their results to those of others of their same age group and gender,” Hixson says. “We also help them realize if a balance class might improve their skills.”

Key #2: Experienced fitness professionals

The center is staffed by friendly and experienced fitness coordinators who are always on hand to help people hone their exercise routines to achieve their personal fitness goals. 

Hixson has a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University and has worked with older adults for the last 25 years. She has been teaching yoga for eight years and is certified by the Arthritis Foundation for land-based classes. She has also extensively studied Anatomy Trains, which relates to myofascial tissue and how it affects shifts in postural alignment.

“I have written the lesson plans/homework for the Posture Clinic, a small-group personal training (3-4 people), which helps residents recognize postural shifts in their own bodies and suggest exercises to help bring the body into better balance,” Hixson says.

Key #3: Group exercise classes

Residents can also take advantage of a variety of group fitness classes. Through the fitness center, they can enjoy yoga, circuit training, stretching, and balance classes for less than $3 per class or $15 per month for unlimited classes. 

Hixson also leads a mindful meditation group once a week.

“[The meditation] group is completely free of charge because all of the latest research points to the many benefits of meditation for a healthy lifestyle,” Hixson says.

There are also several free resident-led classes, including line dancing, water aerobics, and tai chi, and an outside vendor comes to campus to teach Jazzercise classes. Hixson says that the staff hopes to expand class offerings once the fitness studio renovation is completed this month.

“Group fitness classes are a great way to stick with meeting your individual goals,” Hixson says. “Classes offer socialization and help to motivate residents to commit to exercising at a specific day and time, which encourages them to follow through.”

The active lifestyle at Fox Run certainly helps community members stay physically healthy. Hixson says the community also contributes to mental and emotional well-being.

“Living at Fox Run helps people form great friendships with their neighbors and staff,” she says. “They never need to feel isolated, and there are plenty of activities to do here, including many that are resident-led.”