Fitness is a key component to maintaining independent living – and that’s the philosophy behind Vi at Silverstone’s, a Vi and Plaza Companies community, enhanced fitness program. “We’re trying to keep people fit, healthy, active and independent for as long as possible,” said Kim Bankofier, Community Relations Manager at the community.
To that end, on-site Fitness Coordinator Ashley Giraud has taken a functional approach to residents’ overall wellness. “It’s time we all look at fitness in a different light,” said Giraud. “The trend now is to look at the function and benefits of the program. For example, are you able to do all the things you need to do on a daily basis, like reach overhead to get things down from a shelf or squat to pick things up off the floor? You need proper technique. We work to create muscle memory patterns so that when you perform these activities in your daily life, you’ll do so with correct form. From a balance and falling stand point, proper patterns are important to help protect yourself from injury.”
Giraud meets with residents to talk about their fitness goals, and then customizes a program to help them achieve those goals.
“Every resident has different needs,” Giraud said. “We have one resident who is training to ride cross-country from L.A. to Boston on a 49-day cycling excursion. He trains by riding 100 miles every day in the community. So I provided him with specific exercises that would strengthen his lower back.”
Vi at Silverstone also has a state-of-the-art TechnoGym® facility where Giraud can program exercise protocols right into residents’ SmartKeys.
“If a resident is undergoing cardiac rehab, I can program in the required treadmill speeds and then run a report after to monitor progress. So there is independence as well as accountability.”
Special events are also a catalyst that Giraud uses to get people moving more. “Right now we’re in the process of planning an Olympic Games, similar to the Senior Olympics, that is several months away. We hope this will give everyone the incentive to start training now. Our Olympic Committee is made up of residents, so they have a vested interest in the events they select.”
Whether taking classes like water aerobics in the indoor heated pool or participating in walking and hiking excursions, there are plenty of group exercise programs that offer the added benefit of social interaction.
“I hear from many residents that they’ve never worked out regularly in their whole life but they do here because it’s convenient and fun. We took 12 residents for a one-hour hike, and on the bus ride back, everyone said it was so enjoyable that they decided to go back on their own. Again, we emphasize independent living – if there’s something you love doing, we encourage you to go do it!”