Exercising Your Body and Mind as You Age

Director of Senior Services Rachel Ruth Talks Healthy Aging at the JCC

Published Monday, September 23, 2019

Healthy Aging Month

Retirement is your opportunity to do all the things in life you never had time for, including taking good care of yourself.  As you age, it is important to exercise both your body and mind. Here at the JCC, we offer ample opportunities to do both. From water workouts to Better Balance, monthly lecture series and Games Day, we’ve got everything you need to stay healthy as you age.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that even moderate physical activity can help seniors increase mental capacity, prevent disease, and improve healing.  With our state-of-the-art fitness center and more than 70 weekly group exercise classes, there is always something happening at the J to challenge you. For the active adult, we have low impact aerobics, yoga, mat Pilates, aqua fit, chair exercises, Better Balance, and more.  Whatever your fitness level, we have a class for you. Just because it’s called chair exercise doesn’t mean it won’t challenge you! We use weights, exercise bands and balls in that class. You work at your level, but I promise you will get a good workout.

Group Exercise Classes Active Adult Classes

In addition to the physical benefits, being active on a regular basis may help reduce feelings of depression. According to the NIH Senior Health Bulletin, regular, moderate physical activity can help manage stress and improve your mood. Studies also suggest that exercise can improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information. 

Have you tried Pickleball yet?  One of the fastest-growing sports in the country, pickleball combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Played as singles or doubles, two or four players use solid paddles to hit a Wiffle ball over a low net.  It is played in the air-conditioned gym, and all skill levels are encouraged to join. The Uptown JCC offers pickleball Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 - 3:00 PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 - 3:00 PM. In Metairie, you can play pickleball Monday and Tuesdays from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

Adult Sports

Studies support not only physical activity as a factor for healthy aging but also social interaction. Join us each Tuesday for Games Day at the Uptown JCC. Spend the afternoon with your friends and make some new ones, too. The JCC also offers a diverse lineup of adult classes like Creative Painting, Portrait Drawing, Mah Jongg, and more.

And to exercise your brain, we have an ongoing lineup of speakers and activities. The Morris Bart Sr., Lecture Series was created in 2013 to bring in local experts in the fields of history, architecture, religion, politics, food, music, and more. The lectures are typically held on the second Monday of the month at the Uptown JCC. Throughout the year, we also host off-site luncheons and museum trips.

If you really want to challenge your brain, take our Mind Matters class on Tuesdays.  This class is designed specifically for those concerned about their memory. In this boot camp for the mind, you will discover techniques to improve memory, participate in stimulating discussions and learn from others undergoing similar challenges.    

Memory Programs
You are sure to find an activity or program at the JCC to exercise your interests and even develop new ones. If haven’t had the chance to explore the JCC, our membership team is always available to give you a tour of our facility. And if you are interested in a particular active adult program, stop by my office to share your feedback and ideas for additional programs. 

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