Interview with the Expert

Physical Activity in Older Adults

Susan Krusko is our Programs Manager as well as a fitness instructor. You can find her leading classes at the Woodbury Senior Center, Prospect Senior Center, and The Watermark at East Hills in Southbury. She is NETA certified and is licensed to teach Zumba Gold, Zumba Kids, and Silver Sneakers. At the moment, she is primarily working with older adults.

We decided to tap into her expertise with fitness in the older adult population.

Why is it important for seniors to engage in regular physical activity?

Regular physical activity and exercise are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Staying physically active and exercising regularly can produce long-term health benefits and even improve health for some older people who already have diseases and disabilities. It also has cognitive and psychological benefits.

When it comes to exercise for seniors, consistency is more important than intensity. Researchers found that you don’t have to engage in strenuous exercises to gain health benefits. Exercising in moderation can still lead to significant health benefits.

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Susan leading a class.

How do you adjust your workouts for your clients?

First, there is an assessment of any visible limitations of the clients. Second, I explain that any of the exercises can be modified if necessary. Third, I tell them their bodies are their boss. You want to challenge yourself without harming yourself.

Tell us a story of how a client surprised you.

I am pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm my clients show and their desire to maintain a healthy and physically fit lifestyle. For example, I had one woman who attended one of my classes over one year ago. When she first started, she wasn’t sure that exercise was going to be beneficial for her. She started out only taking one class a week. Now, she attends 2-3 classes a week, and her overall health has improved. She is now a big advocate for physical activity and has encouraged her friends to start attending classes.

Thanks for the valuable information, Susan. To read on myths about exercise and getting older, click here.

 

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