By Steve Moran
I know I am obsessed right now with brain and exercise health for senior living residents. But I find myself believing it may be the lowest hanging fruit for improving the quality of life for residents during and after the pandemic. It actually has some serious implications for those of us who work in senior living.
I first came across the concept of high impact interval training (HIIT) a few months ago when I started training for my big sabbatical hike on the John Muir Trail this summer (though the pandemic may make this impossible). But it was one of those things that just kept popping up over and over again . . . or more likely, I started paying more attention to it.
Then I came across this article:
The Big Idea
We know that being sedentary is bad for human health and bad for human brains. It seems apparent that sheltering in place is compounding bad habits. I am worried about what it will mean for the physical and mental health of residents who are confined to a few hundred square feet 24/7.
A group of researchers found that a series of micro-high-intensity workouts had more health benefits than a single hour-long brisk walk. You ask what is micro? Yep, it is just 4 seconds at peak intensity.
They had volunteers get on a stationary bike and sprint as hard as possible for 4 seconds, rest for 45 seconds and then do it over again a total of 5 times each hour for 8 hours.
The next day the subjects returned to the lab with lower blood levels of triglycerides and burned more fat during the next six hours while their triglycerides remained about 30 percent lower throughout the six hours of monitoring.
Don’t Do This Yourself
This study was done with young people and It would obviously need to be very different and programmed for residents. But I think there is a real opportunity to work with your therapy team to create something that would provide similar benefits to residents. Maybe even something that could be done in a resident room or in the hallway.
As a leader, even if you are on your feet all day, this might be something for you to explore for your own health.
Spot on Steve… you hit it on the head with your article above: Could This Be the Fountain of Youth for Senior Living Residents . . . ? Not only is fitness important- now more than ever- because of its effect on the immune system. But increasing the quality of this programming …low hanging fruit, as the solutions already exist and I would venture to say – at a cost savings from what is being provided today… Because of technology.
The wheel is already invented…with WiFi and large screen TVs – providers can deliver great web based cognitive programming for older adults – and award winning, expert senior fitness programming like – Spiro1OO, that is safe, vetted, and outcome based. Engagement platforms like…Touchtown, Sagely, Cubigo, Caremerge, Sentrics can deliver this programming right to the resident’s room if desired.
Staff can be more hands on, efficient and empowered to interact with residents directly – Plus quality is ensured, variety and safety is increased and cost decreased…… It’s most certainly low hanging fruit!