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Healthy Retirement: Fitness for All Seasons

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Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 6.01.19 PMBethany Village is committed to helping older adults maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. The warm weather of summer is stretching into September, but cooler weather is just over the horizon. Fall and winter can actually be the most critical time to exercise according to Craig Cole, Exercise Physiologist at Bethany Village.

“When the weather starts to get colder our body starts to slow down a little bit, and our energy level has a tendency to decrease,” says Cole. “A great way to counteract that is to stay as active as you can.”

Here are some exercise tips our retirement village residents use to burn calories inside when things get frigid outside.


Circuit Training – Circuit training combines strength, cardio, balance and flexibility training into an aerobic exercise regimen. At Bethany Village, we call our circuit training class The Circuit of Life. Participants make two circuits around ten workout stations, switching stations every 30 seconds. The constant motion keeps the heart rate elevated throughout the workout classes, making the value of doing the stations as a circuit greater than the value of doing each exercise in isolation.  The Circuit of Life is a moderate to high intensity class offered at the Bethany Village Fitness Center.

Body Weight Training– Bodyweight training uses the force of gravity and the exercisers’ own body mass to create resistance. This means bodyweight exercises are efficient (no changing equipment), and can also be easily tailored to any fitness level. At Bethany our residents enjoy bodyweight exercise and more as part of the Upward! classes offered at the Bethany Village Fitness Center. These classes are considered high intensity, and may not be right for everyone. Bethany Village also offers a low intensity Fit N Fun class, which focuses on simple exercises that can be done in a chair or wheelchair.

Biking – Biking may not seem like a cold weather activity. But, indoor exercise bikes offer all the fitness benefits of traditional bicycles – plus the undeniable bonus of watching television during a workout. The Bethany Village Fitness Center offers special recumbent bikes, which allow the user to sit comfortably in the seat with their legs positioned out front instead of downward. Biking is a safe and relaxing aerobic exercise that can be tailored to fit nearly any fitness level.


If you aren’t sure where to start with your cold weather fitness schedule, here are some things you can try:

  • Talk to your doctor and see what exercises they recommend for you.
  • Take your time. Start with short exercises and slowly increase difficulty.
  • Get a workout buddy; you will help keep each other on track.
  • Choose exercises you like, then you are less likely to skip workouts

Exercising safely is the most critical factor in any fitness regimen. Here are some tips for ensuring your workout is safe:

  • Stay hydrated before, during and after your workout.
  • Stop exercising if you feel pain. Working out should be tiring or even uncomfortable, but it should not hurt.
  • Don’t exercise if you are sick, it can wait until you are well.
  • Make sure you warm up before exercising. Walking with big arm movements is a great warm up option.


Written by Bethany Village

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