MOUNT VERNON — For senior citizens, keeping active is often a big part of staying healthy.
That’s the idea behind some of the activities held for seniors at The Station Break Senior Citizens Center. A prime example of that was the Senior Olympics, held May 17, in which seniors competed in events like Wii Bowling, the Wet T-Shirt Toss, Lure Launching, Sling Shots and Watermelon Seed Spitting.
The center also tries to schedule other activities, such as dances, walks and chair exercise sessions, but space has been a problem and some activities have been scaled back as the center prepares to move to new quarters at the former Dan Emmett Conference Center, Activities Director Meredith Lowther explained.
“Physical activities don’t always have to be exercise,” Lowther said. “You can have scavenger hunts, Wii bowling, balloon volleyball, etc. Just anything can work as long as you get up and move. Make it fun — that’s the key to a good exercise program.”
Once the center has moved, she said, they will be working more events and activities into the schedule. Until the end of the year, they will have to work around events already scheduled at the center.
Meanwhile, chair exercises are one activity that doesn’t take up much space.
Some typical chair exercises:
•Start with your neck. Put your chin to your chest, and extend it to your back five times slowly. Next rotate left and right five times.
•Shoulder raises — Lift both shoulders up by your ears five times. Squeeze your shoulder blades together five times. Roll your shoulders forward and back five times.
•Arm circles — Do five on the right first, then left.
•Reach right arm overhead to the left five times. Repeat with left arm to the right.
•Let your arms dangle down to your sides. Rotate your wrists five times each direction.
•Hold your hand at chest level. Touch each finger to your thumb. (Helps with medicine bottles and the telephone.)
•Overhead presses — Do five.
•Seated lower back stretches — Turn to look over your right shoulder and hold for five seconds. Repeat on left. Repeat right and left again.
•Bend at the waist and touch your toes five times.
•Put your feet on the floor. Rotate your ankles both directions one foot at a time.
•With your foot on the floor go up onto the balls of your feet five times. Put your heels on the floor and press forward with your toes (like a gas pedal).
•With feet on the floor lift knees up one at a time five times. (Helps with mobility).
•Put your arms up over your head, stretch out all the way, take a few deep breaths and relax and enjoy your day.
Lowther also shared a “powerball” recipe that is full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and good carbohydrates to give people energy and strength.
1 cup honey
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup mini dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts of choice (walnuts or pecans)
1/2 cup dried fruit of choice (raisins or dried cranberries)
1) Stir honey and peanut butter together in a large bowl until blended
2) Add oats and flax seeds and mix well
3) Add chocolate chips, nuts and dried fruit, and mix well. The mixture will be really stiff. You may use a food mixer if necessary.
4) Roll the mixture into ping-pong-sized balls and refrigerate until ready to eat. Powerballs also freeze very well.