East Ridge at Cutler Bay offers residents a state-of-the art fitness center geared to seniors and it’s in use every day.
This popular gathering spot is managed by wellness coordinator Suzana Delgado. The Center offers exercise classes, fitness evaluations, education, competitive sports and supervised use of the extensive workout equipment. It’s open most days from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
“Of all of our classes, “Sittercise” is the most popular and consistently well attended class on our monthly calendar,” said Suzana. “People enjoy this light aerobic workout and being able to do many exercises while sitting in a chair. We also offer balance classes, general strength training, water aerobics and tennis.”
East Ridge classes promote physical and mental health strengthening and improvement. Residents are encouraged to stay physically active.
“It is so important to their wellbeing. Being right here within the community means residents can see me each day and I’m their reminder to exercise,” she added. “We know as many as 28%-45% of seniors fall each year and at East Ridge we put a great deal of emphasis on a balance program to limit residents’ risk. Balance training can limit the loss or actually improve one’s performance.”
Senior fitness testing is offered to all residents. This enables the staff to evaluate a person’s upper and lower body strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, body composition and agility. Residents are then retest every six months to monitor improvements or any changes.
Workout plans are geared to the individual resident. Living at East Ridge means residents have the benefit of the fitness staff working with the rehabilitation department to keep them resident strong.
“I look out for each one of them. If I don’t see someone in the gym for several days, it’s not unusually for me to give them a call. I want each resident to know they are accountable because ultimately, this will keep them fit,” said Delgado. “Some of our residents never used a gym before moving to the community. We understand it’s intimidating. But we start gradually introducing someone to a workout plan that suits them.”
Also, at East Ridge, residents are continually introduced to new types of exercise to keep them interested and motivated. For example, tennis was introduced in the master’s tennis format. Players can use their own racquets with lower compression balls. There is a group that plays every other week.
Disc golf baskets were also installed and have been popular with residents, especially in the winter months.
“Our Nintendo Wii always is in use and we have some avid Wii bowlers. People are amazed at how easy the Wii is to use and enjoy the camaraderie with others,” she added.
In addition to the exercise classes and work outs, Suzana has many friendly competition opportunities. Residents challenge each other at different events throughout the year. The upcoming East Ridge Games are an example. Residents and staff are forming teams to compete in seven different sports including ladderball, bocci, shuffleboard and Wii Bowling.
“It’s not that important who wins,” she said. “It’s just important for everyone to play and participate.”