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Fit for life

Oak Crest was designed with healthy living in mind

Created date

August 4th, 2016
Oak Crest resident Pat Hodges is a regular at the community’s on-site fitness center and swimming pool.

Oak Crest resident Pat Hodges is a regular at the community’s on-site fitness center and swimming pool.

The greatest athletes from around the world will compete this month at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Experts in 39 different sports ranging from swimming to shooting and tennis to Taekwondo will vie to bring home the gold. But you don’t have to be at the peak of athletic perfection to reap the benefits of regular exercise. 

Oak Crest, an Erickson Living community in Parkville, Md., makes sticking to a fitness routine easier than ever with a personal trainer just down the hall.  

“My husband and I both belonged to Gold’s Gym before we moved to Oak Crest so having the fitness center right here in the community is a really nice feature,” says Pat Hodges, who moved to Oak Crest in 2015. “I go down to the fitness center about four times a week. I also do water aerobics on Fridays, which I love. The best part is, you never have to go outside to get there, which is such a plus.” 

Clever design

Oak Crest is uniquely designed to offer retirees an active lifestyle year-round. The community’s buildings connect by air-conditioned and heated indoor walkways, so residents can log quite a few steps just by walking to and from their apartment homes to meetings, events, and activities in the clubhouses.

 Oak Crest’s fitness center features the very latest equipment, including steppers, cardio bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and strength training equipment. On-site stretch, yoga, and aerobics classes, aquatic aerobics, and water volleyball are also available. 

Oak Crest residents can enjoy a basic gym membership for free. Basic membership includes a fitness assessment and consultation, personalized exercise program, and monthly monitoring of exercise progression from the center’s professional fitness trainers. Personal training and group fitness classes are offered for a fee.  

Joining the fitness center was at the top of Maryella and Leonard (Dean) Alwine’s list when they moved to Oak Crest from Bel Air.  

“We went to a fitness center down the street from our house for about 16 years,” says Maryella. “When we moved to Oak Crest, we knew we would continue with our fitness routine here. I use the machines—the treadmill, the cross trainer, and of course the weights. I believe that weight lifting is good for your muscles and your mental health.”

Just what the doctor ordered

A new study published in the March 2016 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, seems to support Maryella’s theory showing exercise in older people is also associated with a slower rate of decline in thinking skills that occurs with aging. In the study, people who reported light to no exercise experienced a decline equal to ten more years of aging compared to people who reported moderate to intense exercise. 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults age 65 and older get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms). Any aerobic activity that gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster counts as long as you do it for at least ten minutes.

Lois Hively began exercising as part of her recovery from a knee injury. 

“I was going to a physical therapist, and when I was done, they suggested I start going to a fitness center,” says Lois. “Now I’m at the fitness center every day, sometimes twice a day, and I exercise in the pool. The staff is wonderful. They show you how the equipment works and how to use it properly. If you can’t figure something out you just ask, and they will walk you through it. They encourage you and make you believe that you can do things you didn’t think you could do.” 

Throughout the year, the Oak Crest fitness center hosts special events like a March Madness basketball shooting contest, Home Run Derby, and Wii bowling competition.

“Using the fitness center has done so much for me. It has really changed my outlook,” says Lois. “I’ve lost 30 pounds from the combination of using the fitness center and the pool. And I’m doing things I never would have done before.”