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Three keys to keeping your New Year's resolution

Created date

January 8th, 2016
Riderwood resident and staff
Riderwood resident and staff

If you’re like most people, you’ll be making a resolution this month to get healthier. While this is an excellent goal, it 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 Rid..., an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., staying in good physical shape is much easier. With access to three on-site fitness centers located just a short indoor walk from their homes, as well as several full-service restaurants that serve delicious balanced meals, Riderwood residents are set up for success. 

Key #1: Convenience

“Convenience is key when starting and continuing an exercise program,” says Lindsey Drabczyk, a wellness coordinator at Riderwood. “Three fitness centers are located around campus and are open 24 hours a day. This makes fitness accessible at all times, which is convenient for our residents.”

The fitness centers are equipped with Nu-Step machines, recumbent bikes, treadmills, strength machines, TheraSlides, free weights, and bands, so residents have the tools they need to meet their exercise goals. The fitness center is available to all community members free of charge. For those who want a customized fitness routine, individual personal training is available for $25-$35 per session. 

“If a resident is looking for more one-on-one attention, personal training is a great program that provides the expertise and knowledge to create an exercise program that meets your needs,” Drabczyk says. “It can help you achieve personal fitness goals. It provides motivation and adherence to exercise. It also ensures that residents are completing exercises correctly while making exercise more enjoyable.”

Key #2: Experienced professionals 

All of Riderwood’s fitness coordinators are certified personal trainers and have extensive certifications and educations, so residents can be assured they are working with a professional who has experience specifically with seniors. 

Drabczyk has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in health care administration. In addition to being certified as a personal trainer, she is an older adult instructor.

“Training older adults is a passion. It’s about educating them as to why they need to be active and to make them as strong as possible so they can live a high quality of life,” Drabczyk says. “I enjoy this field because it’s also about building relationships and gaining trust. You’re working with people to better their lives, and it’s such a joy to see them build success.”

Key #3: Group exercise

Many people at Riderwood stay physically fit by participating in group exercise. Available classes range from yoga to water aerobics. Drabczyk says the most popular class is the balance class, which challenges participants’ muscles through a variety of tasks while teaching them about awareness. 

The newest class is designed to help people with Parkinson’s disease maintain joint mobility, improve coordination and balance, increase muscle strength and flexibility, reduce stress, and improve control over gross motor movements such as walking.

“I think exercise classes are a great way to help individuals achieve fitness goals,” Drabczyk says. “Exercising in a group setting is fun and motivating. Those individuals are more likely to adhere to an exercise program and stick with it long term.”


Ten ways to stay healthy as you age

Tried and true tips from Wellness Coordinator Lindsey Drabczyk

1. Be active. Exercise every day if possible. A little exercise can go a long way to help you be stronger and live a better quality of life. 

2. Eat healthy. Watch your portion size and choose healthier options. 

3. Stimulate the mind. Take a class on a topic that interests you or complete word puzzles. Keep your mind healthy and active. 

4. Join a group. Be active in your community by taking part in a card playing group, dance class, or a group with others who share your interests. This promotes socialization.

5. Use the steps. If you are able, use the steps versus the elevator. This is a great way to help keep your heart and lungs in shape while challenging your leg muscles. 

6. Do something enjoyable. Find a hobby or something you like doing. This will keep your mind and body active. 

7. Take a fall prevention class. As we age, we lose muscle mass, which puts individuals at risk for falls. Find a class that will help you to reduce falls and help build the strength of your legs. 

8. Maintain a healthy weight. It is easy to gain weight when others prepare food or when there are a number of different unhealthy options. Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 

9. Manage stress. Try exercise or relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga. Make time for friends and fun. Successful coping can affect our health and how we feel. 

10. Get regular dental, vision, and hearing checkups. As we age, changes occur in the body. Keeping up to date on exams can help you to stay healthy for the long term.