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Exercise has many benefits for seniors

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - The West Linn Adult Community Center offers many classes to help seniors stay fit and healthy.

We at the West Linn Adult Community Center know there are many reasons why we should exercise at all ages, but we recognize it is most important for people in later stages of life.

For older adults, maintaining flexibility, balance, gait, strength and range of motion is the key to good health. Everyone knows that regular exercise and staying fit can protect us from falls and disability due to muscle and balance loss. It can also prevent or reverse some diabetes complications such as circulation problems. Other well-known benefits include lowering our risk of heart disease and even some cancers. Regular exercise also can increase your energy level, improve your mood and promote a sense of well-being.

A lesser-known benefit is that regular exercise has been shown to reduce one’s risk for developing dementia and dementia-related diseases.

The reason for this seems to be that exercise increases our overall cardiovascular health, resulting in higher oxygen levels carried by the blood throughout the body, including the brain. The increased blood flow might encourage new brain cell growth, or healthy cell turnover. The benefits of increased oxygen flow affect all areas of the body, supporting organ function and even quicker wound healing.

The West Linn Adult Community Center recognizes these important benefits and offers a fun and varied list of exercise classes and workshops. Our ongoing exercise classes include seated or standing aerobics, core strength, kettlebell fitness, line dancing, Nia music and movement, qigong, Strength & Balance, tai chi, a walking group and yoga. A new class, Pilates with a foam roller, will be offered beginning July 29 from 9:45-10:45 a.m. Participants will learn to incorporate different techniques of using a foam roller on their muscles and applying pressure to trigger points, resulting in a stronger core, increased circulation, leaner muscles, better flexibility and more. Call 541-992-6100 to sign up. This class is free of charge, bring a yoga mat and a foam roller.

The lunch menu this week features grilled chicken supreme with mushrooms and rice on Friday, July 29; chef’s surprise on Monday, Aug. 1; and soup and sandwiches on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Cost is $5 per person.

Questions? Call Tiffany Carlson at 503-557-4704. We are located at 1180 Rosemont Road, West Linn.

Keli Stevens is a volunteer at West Linn Adult Community Center.