The Advantages of Active Living
Seniors often thrive in independent living communities due to increased opportunities to exercise, socialize
and participate in active living. Populated by individuals who are committed to living life to the fullest, inde-
pendent living communities encourage residents to participate in exercise programs and social activities that
provide the foundation for a quality retirement lifestyle. You might say that not only are exercise and socializ-
ing “the best medicine,” they turn the spigot on The Fountain of Youth.
Those considering the move to an independent living community will be interested to learn that the American
College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has focused on the theme “Exercise as Medicine” since 2008. In short, ex-
ercise, and the socializing that often accompanies heart, health and wellness activities, is the most potent and
side-effect-free medicine available. Exercise positively affects every aspect of the body, mind and, yes, spirit.
Why is exercise such good medicine?
Growing numbers look for exercise and active living programs when evaluating independent living communi-
ties. They are aware that exercise serves as preventative medicine by helping to reduce risk factors for heart
attacks such as diabetes, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol. Exercise works as secondary preven-
tion, too. This means that it helps reduce the risk of the next “big one.”
Wellness programs offered by independent living communities help residents understand that lowering these
risk factors even just a little, boosts their strength and immune systems. For example, in general the body
doesn’t need to make as much insulin when it is active. As a result, regular exercise increases sensitivity and
keeps fat stores at bay to help prevent diabetes.
Exercise also helps reduce the risk of depression. Many independent living communities encourage fun group
fitness activities such as heart-healthy walks and aquatic programs, wellness education, dancing, tai chi and
yoga. All these activities