Helen Branagh

Helen Branagh

Helen Branagh

Helen Branagh reaches a milestone in her goal to stay independent!

“Happy Bones” started Tuesday, May 1st 2012. “Happy Bones” is a fitness class providing exercises to strengthen the large muscle groups in the body. The exercises target large muscle groups in the upper body, lower body/legs as well as in the core (Abdominals; back muscles). For those, who have balance problems or cannot execute standing exercises, there are seated variations to engage the main muscle groups.

The objectives of the class are to increase muscular strength – especially leg strength – for making the execution of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) easier. Therefore, all movements in the exercises are “functional”, they imitate movements necessary to be able to do ADLs. –Positive side effects of increasing muscular strength usually are improvements in bone health (helps to prevent Osteoporosis) and range of motion (flexibility) around joints.

“Happy Bones” is also a social environment creating interaction between the resident participants: Their humor and lightheartedness makes the class fun to participate. The class also offers a brief and exhilarating Aerobics sequence (Chair Aerobics to a fun song) at half time to increase the heart beat and break up the weight lifting routines.

Resident Highlight:
Since Happy Bones Fitness classes started at The Manor at Midvale, Helen Branagh has been a regular attendee. Her determination to improve muscular strength has paid off: She can now complete 12 full “chair sit to stands”, and when she started the program she could not complete 1. Helen was determined to improve her balance (through greater leg strength) after a very weakening stay in the hospital last year. She says about herself that she does “not give up easily”. What makes the class important to her (apart from her success in improved balance and strength) are the one-on-one social interaction with the fellow participants and that she “feels better overall” after the class. Her personal goal is to remain capable of moving around and thus maintain her independence.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living