Wellness for our residents at Inspīr is about feeling good, inside and out. Residents work with our wellness coaches, physical trainers, and physical therapists to regain or maintain strength and flexibility. Our on-site fitness center features all the best exercise equipment from Technogym and, of course, the expertise of physical trainers dedicated to working with older adults.
The residence has unique features such as our indoor, heated saltwater pool that enables us to provide a variety of exercise programs to help keep residents in shape without adding stress or strain to the body. Our fitness center and pool are managed by Iowa Sports. Iowa Sports has been managing health clubs, pools, and spas in luxury residences for more than 40 years. They bring the friendly nature of Iowans to everything they do. And their philosophy is built on the power of amenity spaces to connect people based on common ground and a common goal.
Our fitness manager from Iowa Sports, Francisco Diaz, is an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist), CES (Corrective Exercise Specialist), and PES (Performance Enhancement Specialist). Francisco has always had an interest in health, fitness, injury prevention, and recovery. His inspiration for this career is exercise physiologist Vincent Metzo, the Dean for Personal Training at the Swedish Institute.
We interviewed Francisco about the importance of physical therapy and exercise for our residents.
Why is it so important for seniors to retain flexibility and strength in their limbs and core?
Strength-training exercises can combat weakness and frailty and their debilitating consequences. Done regularly (e.g., two to three days per week), these exercises build muscle strength and muscle mass and preserve bone density, independence, and vitality with age. Strength training also can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and the signs and symptoms of numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes while also improving sleep and reducing depression.
How do you begin working with a resident who needs to improve flexibility and strength?
We begin by doing a fitness assessment on our Technogym Biocircuit. This assessment allows us to create an exercise program based on their current exercise needs and limitations. When residents exercise, a screen shows them their range of motion and strength. As the circuit continues to monitor you, it will slowly increase the strength and range of motion for you as you get your body fit!
If a resident is still pretty flexible, how do you encourage them to weave some exercise into their day? Which activities are best suited for them in regard to less impact?
Flexibility is just one key component to maintaining overall good health. For anyone who is very mobile and flexible, I would suggest alternative training methods such as cardiovascular training, strength training, or for something low-impact, water aerobics.
It must be great for you to be able to have the pool adjacent to the fitness center. Could you tell us about the benefits of swimming?
Swimming is beneficial in many ways! It’s beneficial on the joints, and the water eliminates gravity from imposing pressure on the limbs. Body movements that are difficult to perform on land can be done underwater with less limitation. It also creates more core muscle involvement as all muscles work in synergy to traverse through the water. Last, our saltwater pool is wonderful for those who have muscle aches or soreness!
From yoga to swimming, we offer an abundance of physical activities to help you keep up with your well-being.
Wellness is a journey. Continue it here, with us.