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Making fitness fun

Healthy living is easy at Highland Springs

Created date

October 14th, 2016
Helen and Ray Skiles practice their punches in the Sit ’N Box class at Highland Springs, the Erickson Living community in North Dallas.

Helen and Ray Skiles practice their punches in the Sit ’N Box class at Highland Springs, the Erickson Living community in North Dallas.

“Punch, block, kick,” aren’t words you typically hear in an exercise class geared toward seniors. But that’s exactly what the residents of Highland Springs are doing in the community’s Sit ’N Box fitness class.

“It’s empowering to hit something,” says Helen Skiles, who attends the Sit ’N Box class with her husband Ray. “At first you think, ‘I can’t do that,’ but then you realize everyone can do it.”

Leslie Doran, fitness manager at Highland Springs, says her goal is to make fitness fun and accessible for all community members.

“My philosophy is that you won’t stick with a fitness routine if you aren’t enjoying it, so fun is at the heart of all we do,” says Doran. “At the end of the day, our goal is health through movement and activity.”

Full calendar of fitness classes

Each week, the team of fitness specialists at the North Dallas Erickson Living community teaches 51 group and aquatic exercise classes, ranging from tai chi to Zumba.

“Certain classes target specific skills, like our yoga, tai chi, and balance classes,” says Doran. “Other classes, such as our Highlandettes dance troupe and Zumba, offer more fun-based activity to encourage movement and cardiovascular health. Pilates and Landworks are strength-building classes.”

Doran recommends seniors aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day.

“One way to hit that goal is to break it into increments,” says Doran. “You can work out for 10 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon or evening. We also recommend that seniors do strength training two to three times a week using lighter weights and high repetitions. Strive for consistency instead of big gains in strength or quick changes. You’ll benefit from moving and exercising daily.”

On-site fitness options

At Highland Springs, the on-site fitness center and indoor swimming pool are conveniently located in the Hillcrest Clubhouse, just a short distance from residents’ apartments. Residents can access both amenities via climate-controlled walkways, ensuring they don’t have to venture out in inclement weather to maintain their fitness goals.

“The fitness center is a key component of integrated health and wellness at Highland Springs,” says Doran. “We partner with our residents to provide a wide variety of fitness and wellness opportunities that appeal to their wants and needs.”

Toward that end, Doran says the fitness staff at Highland Springs constantly researches up-and-coming classes and trends, like Sit ’N Box, that are geared toward seniors.

“We add new classes to the schedule and give them some time to catch on,” says Doran. “We also survey our residents periodically to identify any new classes they’d like to try at Highland Springs.”

For community members who prefer one-on-one coaching, the fitness team at Highland Springs offers personal training options, beginning with a free initial consultation.

“We develop a fitness program for interested residents,” says Doran. “If they like the training routine, we offer group training classes as well as personal training opportunities.”

Measureable results

As the Sit ’N Box class winds down, Helen and Ray try one more round of punching and blocking before the cool-down period.

“It helps with our hand-to-eye coordination,” says Helen, who adds with a grin, “We’re more coordinated now.”