Edgewater at Boca Pointe, an Acts-Retirement Life Community, has fully embraced a new era of fitness with the flexibility and endless possibilities of virtual classes.
While COVID-19 forced the shutdown of fitness centers and gyms across the country, Acts communities have increased their fitness classes and offered new programs to meet the demands of active residents. In fact, despite statewide “stay at home” orders, more seniors than ever before have participated in innovative fitness programming at their retirement communities.
“I gave out every dumbbell set I had,” said Edgewater at Boca Pointe fitness director Michael Fries, “That’s about 45 pair. Only 2 sets of 5 pounds are left. I would say, it’s going great.” He has loaned weights to residents to participate in classes conveniently streamed on the community’s in-house TV channel.
Age is no obstacle to the technical advances of in-home fitness. Most older residents favor the flexibility of virtual classes. Fries says he’s had new participants fully engaged in the new fitness programming. With virtual classes, fitness instructors can be very creative, adding new classes to attract new residents.
“I just love it. I haven’t been able to exercise in a long time,” said resident Geri Diamond. “I truly enjoy Mike’s classes and find it very beneficial. I feel like I’m right there with him.”
Alissa Zemering, a life engagement coordinator at Edgewater at Boca Pointe, shares her love of ballet with residents who can watch her lessons from the comforts of their living rooms.
“The way Alissa moves her arms and legs in sequence, it’s just so perfect,” said Diamond, “I enjoy doing each movement and know it is helping me. I feel blessed to have her here with us.”
“We have been able to reach so many more residents who never went to the gym. Videos allow us to add variety to our programming as well as offer classes in the evenings and weekends,” said Kimberly Huff, Acts Director of Fitness and Wellness.
Fries offers his popular weight-lifting class three days a week with other programming as well. “It’s fun to reach new people,” said Fries, “We are getting a lot of positive feedback and great input from new residents who I have yet to meet in person.”