Exercise Improving Seniors Health

By Courtney Zieller

As you get older, you can't always do the activities you did in your 20's. But no matter what your age, exercise can improve your health. One local senior citizen knows that from experience.

Seventy-nine-year-old Priscilla Jorve has always been active.
 

"If you can imagine, my eldest daughter got me running at the age of 49. But now I can't run, you can't run when you have knee replacement," Jorve said.

Thanks to strength training, that surgery isn't stopping Jorve from doing the activities she loves.
 

"When we get older our muscles are much different and we need to use them so we can sit, so we can walk,"Jorve said.

And a program held at Sanford Family Wellness Center in Sioux Falls is helping her do just that.
 

"What's nice about the program is it's geared for us older active adults,' Jorve said.

"They have issues like hip problems, shoulder problems so we cater their exercises to what they want and a huge one tends to be their balance issues," Exercise specialist Megan Buseman said.

Buseman runs the class. She works with seniors in four areas, balance, cardio, flexibility and strength training.
"Incorporating that strength so they're able to hold themselves up, things like that in your every day life. You need to be strong enough to lift whatever the case maybe," Buseman said.
 

Buseman starts the class by having members walk to boost up their heart rate. Then they move to circuit training, using weights and an exercise ball. And every class is different.

"The specialist takes you were you're already at and you work up to gain strength in your muscles," Jorve said.
You don't need to be in your 70s or 80s to start strength training. Experts say you should start young.

"It's just so important to prevent that osteoporosis, it keeps you strong enough to function everyday. It's just so important for all ages if people haven't started, they should start now," Buseman said.

Jorve's been doing it for two years and she can feel the benefits.

"What I've gained from it is balance. I've gained strength. I've gained cardio and heart rate. And it's also not just the physical part of it but the mental part of it because when you have a circuit like this, you're more motivated to come out," Jorve said.

And for these seniors, that motivation continues even after the workout.
 

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