Butterfield residents are maintaining and even improving aspects of their fitness that are crucial to daily independent living, BTV Fitness and Wellness Director Jennifer Neill said.
This is according to results from the Senior Fitness Test, which a group of BTV residents took last fall. The Senior Fitness Test is used by health professionals across the country to assess the functional fitness of older adults.
Every year, the BTV Fitness and Wellness Department administers the battery of tests to those BTV residents who are interested. Last fall, 51 residents participated.
Results show that BTV residents increased their average upper body strength by 9.6 percent, while preserving their lower body strength, Neill said. According to the data from the Senior Fitness Test, the typical adult age 60 or over sees an annual decrease of about 1.3 percent in upper body strength, and an annual decrease of 1.9 percent in lower body strength.
Results also show that BTV residents increased their average walking distance by 8.1 percent, or roughly 112 feet, Neill said. The typical older adults sees an annual decrease in walking distance by 10 or more feet, or about 2 percent.
The Senior Fitness Test measures areas of fitness that are directly related to fundamental daily activities. The walk test, for example, accesses aerobic endurance, which is related to long-term walking ability. This can come into play when a resident is grocery shopping or sightseeing on vacation.
Upper body or arm strength is related to everyday tasks like opening jars, holding a handrail or carrying bags of groceries.
Neill pointed out that lower body or leg strength is especially important for remaining independent, as it is needed to get in and out of a car, use the restroom, or get in and out of bed.
For more info about the Senior Fitness Test or Butterfield’s fitness and wellness classes and programs, call (479) 695-8036.
Diabetes Prevention Series for 2019
Butterfield will offer a new adult diabetes prevention program in 2019. The Prevent T2 series will be led by Cat Swenson, an area lifestyle coach. Type 2, or adult onset diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Prevent T2 will be held every Thursday in January 2019 in the BTV Convocation Center.