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Why Should You Stay Active in Your Senior Years?


September 05, 2018 in: Well-being, Senior Fitness, Senior Health,

As you age, you may give up on your daily exercise routine. While high-intensity exercises can make you tired, low-impact exercises on a regular basis are good for your health. Here are a few tips to help you stay fit after retirement:

  • Try 5-minute cardio workout sessions a few days a week
  • Squats can help you build lower body strength
  • Try bicep curls
  • Practice wall push-ups
  • Strengthen lower body muscles with leg raises
  • Improve your balance with chair stands and toe stands
  • Stretch your lower and upper body
  • Practice deep breathing exercises

Staying Fit after Retirement:

Advancing age is often accompanied by health issues. If you aren’t fit and fine, your immune system won’t be able to resists diseases. You may experience hypertension, back pain, osteoporosis, and dementia. Through regular exercise, you can reduce the risk of suffering from several health problems. But before you begin following an exercise routine, discuss with your doctor whether it’s safe for you.

Here’s why seniors should develop an exercise routine:

Improve Heart Health

Heart diseases account for almost 25% of deaths every year in the US. High blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels in your body increase the risk of heart diseases. Regular exercise keeps your cholesterol levels under control and lowers blood pressure to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Keep Joints and Bones Healthy

Arthritis is quite common among seniors. It refers to a group of 200 rheumatic diseases that affect your joints. Through regular exercise, you can effectively manage arthritis. It lubricates your joints and reduces stiffness and pain.

Control Obesity

Obesity is the underlying cause of various health issues such as arthritis, hypertension and heart diseases. You can prevent or control obesity by exercising on a regular basis.

Make the Immune System Stronger

Regular exercise can improve your immune system. This way, you can recover quickly from an illness or injury. A strong body is able to fight infections and improves your overall health.

Control Mental Health Problems

Mental health problems such as depression and dementia are quite common among seniors. You can reduce the risk of developing mental illnesses through regular exercise.

Physical activity releases chemicals in your brain that positively influence your mood and boost your self-esteem. Moreover, when you join fitness classes or go to a nearby park for a walk or to exercise, you also get to meet people and make friends.

Reduce the Risk of Slips and Falls

More than one out of four seniors in the US falls every year and one out of five such cases leads to broken bones or a life-threatening head injury. Regular exercise helps you improve your balance and therefore, reduces the risk of slips and falls.

Physical activity and exercises improve the quality of life. As you reach your retirement age, you need not indulge in strenuous exercises. You can rather try moderate, low-intensity exercises to improve your health.

Montecito Santa Fe firmly believes in fitness. It is why we have an amazing workout room right here at the facility and have fitness classes every day.

Resistance Training Can Improve Quality of Life


August 21, 2018 in: Senior Fitness, Senior Health,

Resistance training (also called strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Resistance training is important because of its role in building and maintaining muscle. It is good for metabolism, builds strength, prevents falling, prevents injury, and lifts the mood.

Different forms of resistance training can include:

  • free weights
  • weight machines
  • resistance bands
  • use of body weight

Resistance training is based on the principle that muscles of the body will work to overcome a resistance force when they are required to do so. When we do resistance training repeatedly and consistently, muscles become stronger. A well-rounded fitness program includes strength training to improve bone, joint function, bone density, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, as well as aerobic exercise to improve the heart and lung fitness, flexibility and balance exercises.

People who participate in this form of training usually have an easier time moving through activities of daily living (ADL) because their muscles move more efficiently. The Australian physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

Resistance can be provided simply by moving the body against gravity or by adding weighted dumbbells. You can also add resistance by using machines at the gym or by using equipment such as weighted bars, bands, or kettle bells.

Safety is key, so be sure the weight is not too heavy. Keep the weights light to moderate to avoid causing muscle rigidity. Be sure to switch up the parts of the body focused on for weight training and give the muscles time to recover (48 hours of recovery is suggested by many experts.)

Form matters! It can take a little more teaching of these exercises for some to grasp correct form and frequent checks for safety. This week, we will be sharing all the ways we incorporate resistance training into our boxing workouts. Please share your ideas for exercises and drills! We can’t wait to see what everyone has to share!

This article was written by Rock Steady Boxing. If you would like to know more or participate in one of our Fitness Center classes, give us a call today!

Seniors and Stretching: The Key to a Healthy Life


June 13, 2018 in: Well-being, Senior Fitness, Senior Health,

Immobility of muscles and joints become an ongoing health issue for seniors. With restricted body movements, it becomes really difficult to lead a healthy and happy life even if you are not suffering from any serious disease.

For all those senior individuals, stretching can help them in recovering their mobility by increasing the flexibility and by improving the blood circulation. Stretching is a simple physical activity that can be carried out without any machine and human assistance. Let’s have a look how regular routine of stretching can help seniors to maintain their physical well-being for a healthy life.

Improves the Symptom of Spinal Stenosis and Osteoarthritis  

Aging comes with some inevitable medical conditions. For instance, spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis can appear in old age. Osteoarthritis is a condition where cartilage between the joints starts to erode, resulting in chronic pain in the joints. By improving the flexibility of joints through regular stretching, you can reduce the levels of pains caused by osteoarthritis.

Spinal stenosis is a condition of nerve compression that results from the constriction of bone channel. Spinal stenosis is highlighted by mild pains, numbness in the affected area and weakness. By making stretching a part of your daily routine, you can reduce the symptoms of spinal stenosis with improved blood circulation.

Stretching can Reduce the Threat of Falling

For seniors 65 and above, falling can result in major physical injuries. They also are more likely to fall. Statistics suggest that nearly one-third of the senior population falls every year and a significant number of them end up in emergencies.

By including regular stretching exercises of the lower limbs, seniors can make themselves less prone to the risk of falling. Stretching exercises increase the flexibility of quadriceps and hamstring, which eventually improve the movement around the hip joint.

Stretching Helps in Alleviating the Side Effects of Poor Posture

At a younger age, poor posture might not cause pain in the joints and muscles. However, as we grow old, the diminishing elasticity and flexibility of tendons and ligaments make poor posture an excruciating thing. By stretching regularly, you can reduce the pain and feeling of discomfort caused by poor posture. In general, stretching exercises improve blood circulation.

Safety and Precautionary Tips for Stretching

It is important to consider some safety tips and prerequisites to make stretching exercises more effective.

Warm up: It is important to warm up your muscles and joints before stretching. A brisk walk for a couple of minutes or other light exercise can warm up your body for a stretching session.

Breath continually: Never hold your breath in the middle of a stretch.

Don’t Bend too much: Take care of your spine while stretching. Keep it straight and don’t put too much pressure on it in order to stretch further.

Your body will take time to adjust itself to stretching. So, don’t try to rush into it and be patient with results.

If you want to learn more about proper stretching and exercise technique, check out a class at our Fitness Center.

Top Golf Courses in Santa Fe


June 06, 2018 in: Well-being, Senior Fitness, Senior Health, Events/Things to do,

Golf is a good pastime for any individual, irrespective of age. But those who are retired have the advantage of being able to play whenever they want. And golf not only keeps seniors busy, it can keep them fit, too. Seniors in Santa Fe, NM have plenty of golf courses to choose from. Here are some of the best:

Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe

Though it is a public course, Marty Sanchez is one of the best in Santa Fe. Providing a spectacular panoramic view of both the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains, the golf course itself is built on a picturesque high-desert landscape.

Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe is an 18-hole championship golf course with several additional features including an all-grass driving range, putting area and practice fairway for the beginners. The fees are also very reasonable and the staff is very friendly.

Towa Golf Resort

Located in the scenic Pojoaque (pronounced Po-Walk-Eh) Valley, Towa Golf club provides a different delight to golfers. The fairways of Towa Golf Resort are challenging enough that a rookie golfer will be sorely challenged. The resort consists of three separate 9-hole golf courses and provides exciting playing conditions all year.

Quail Run Golf Course

Quail Run Golf Course is the closest to downtown Santa Fe. It provides 9-hole par 32 fairway to all those golfers who want to play. Quail Run Golf Course has a very reasonable fee structure, too. Even if you don’t have your own golf gear, the course also has rental clubs. Quail Run Golf Course is not open for the whole year, however, you can play there from the start of summers until the end of fall.

The Club at Las Campanas

Las Campanas is just outside of Santa Fe, with spectacular views of the mountains to the east and west. The club boasts that it has one of the highest elevation fairways in the Southwest at 7,000 feet. Sunrise and sunset are among the most breathtaking in New Mexico, which is saying quite a lot.

5 Activities Seniors Can Do to Stay Young and Vibrant


March 02, 2018 in: Senior Fitness, Senior Health, Events/Things to do,

Just because one has a few grey hairs growing out doesn’t mean it is time to give up on all activities and lay in bed waiting for the death angel to pay a visit. Staying young and feeling happy is important at any age. When we grow older, say reach the 50-mark, we experience major changes in our lives. We quit our jobs, our kids move out and we are left in a house all by ourselves or another partner. Ten years down the road, we begin losing many of our loved ones and our bodies don’t remain the same either. All of these circumstances can lead to unhappiness and depression, as suggested by hundreds and thousands of research studies.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The only reason seniors feel this way is because of lack of activities, interests, and hobbies to fill their day. Here are some great ones seniors can adopt without investing too much of physical efforts.

1.    Gardening

Gardening is a great way to stay active on the feet as it requires devoted commitment. A garden is easy to set up and makes for a very fulfilling activity once the flowers begin to bloom and the trees become fruitful. Gardening for seniors increases their mobility and encourages their motor skills. Furthermore, it is also a very relaxing activity.

2.    Walking

Those who think exercise requires motivation can always start with a low-intensity jog or walk. It will help keep the muscle mass intact which is one of the biggest complaints in old age. Walking also offers other benefits like improved blood circulation, an improvement in sleep, enhanced cognitive abilities, increased balance and stability and stronger joints.

3.    Swimming

Swimming has a number of perks to offer to seniors. It is a low-intensity workout which is great for the joints and also for the heart. Indoor swimming serves as a great aerobic exercise to keep one physically fit. Seniors can also join group sessions which will improve their level of engagement and communication with others their age.  

4.    Learning A New Language or Instrument

Research shows that learning a new musical instrument or a language is much easier for an adult as it is for a child. Learning an instrument as an adult is easier because you have spent a major part of your life listening to some form of music, which allows one to make better sense of the tunes and concepts. The same goes for learning a new lingo. Both of these activities can be a great source of passing time and keep one distracted from depressing thoughts.

5.    Volunteer

Volunteering is another great example of how to keep engaged with others both emotionally and physically. Helping others, in itself has a warm feeling associated with it. It instills a sense of responsibility and hope in one’s life. Seniors can help volunteer at libraries, community centers, schools, and churches by offering both monetary and emotional help. This way, they will stay connected and feel important at the same time.

Steps to Follow to Prevent Heart Disease


February 27, 2018 in: Senior Fitness, Senior Health,

It is true that heart diseases are the most common cause of deaths worldwide. But like any other disease, one shouldn’t accept it their fate to die from it. There are many practices and habits, which, if we choose to live by, can prevent a heart attack or stroke. One may say it can’t be prevented since it runs in the family genes; this shouldn’t be the only excuse one gives.

There are many tips to lessen the chances (if not completely eliminate them), of developing heart diseases. This article will discuss some of these in detail.

Quit Smoking

Nearly 20% to 40% of deaths caused by coronary heart diseases each year can be prevented if we just quit smoking. Smoking doubles the chances of an individual to developing heart disease, especially experiencing a heart stroke which leads to a sudden and painful death.

Alternatively, the good news is that if one gives up smoking, it reduces his/her chances of not only developing a heart disease but also increasing their lifespan to up 10 years.

Check Your Blood Pressure

Though it doesn’t have any symptoms, research shows that those who have high blood pressure levels are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who don’t. A well-maintained blood pressure also contributes to keeping the kidneys healthy and prevent cognitive decline as we age. Statistics from American heart association reveals that more than 30% of Americans live with high blood pressure and aren’t even aware of it.

Exercise

The next step involves getting off the couch and indulging in a moderate to a hardcore exercise regime. Regular exercise has been associated with strengthening the heart by increasing the levels of the good cholesterol in the body that help keep arteries and veins from getting blocked. Multiple research studies propose engaging in 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise daily to keep blood pressure normal and not gain excess weight –another contributor to heart diseases.

Monitor Cholesterol

Too much cholesterol contributes to plaque build around the heart and arteries that root from it. Ideally, a person should try to keep their cholesterol levels below 200 ml/dL. Anything above that is worrisome and life-threatening.

Eat Healthily

One must try to limit the intake of saturated fats or foods that are high in sodium. At the same time, a strict count on sugars should also be practiced at all of these build the unhealthy fat in the body and around the heart which results in blocked arteries and veins and fluctuations in heart rate.

We must try to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead as they keep the blood pressure maintained and cholesterol levels low –the two things that we already discussed above.

Sleep Well

Sleep deprivation leads to obesity high blood pressure and diabetes as proven by years of research. All of these also increase the chances of developing a heart condition. Thus, adolescents, adults, and seniors –all should follow a fixed sleeping schedule even on the weekends to lower their chances of heart problems.

Stress Management

Finally, research also links stress and heart diseases. Too much stress can raise our blood pressure levels, and therefore, trigger a heart attack. One must try to manage stress at all times and consider counseling if it starts to affect the quality of life.

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