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AltaMed's Adult Day Health Centers Mark National Senior Health and Fitness Day Throughout the Year

Thursday, May 26, 2011 General News J E 4
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COMMERCE, Calif., May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AltaMed Health Services' seven Adult Day Health Care Centers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties offer their more than 1,500 participants a regular schedule of daily activities that encourage fitness, wellness and health education.  The workouts are part of a core exercise plan for seniors emphasizing strength, endurance and flexibility. "We want to support our participants in remaining physically active," said Long Term Care Program Director, Marilyn Stoch, MSW . "Just 30 minutes of exercise most days will help prevent falls, retain bone mass, and improve overall fitness for seniors. National Senior Health and Fitness Day serves as a reminder of how vital exercise is to healthy senior living."

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110525/DC09051)

Angelita Andrade, AltaMed ADHC-Lincoln Heights participant, said, "One year ago, I had a stroke and was unable to move my arm. After coming to the center for 8 months and doing the exercise program, I am now able to move my arm. This center has helped me a lot."

"We know so much more about senior health and fitness than we used to," said Dr. Rafael Amezcua, AltaMed's Medical Director for Senior Care. "Conditions we used to classify as aspects of aging are today preventable, especially in participants who remain active through their senior years." According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only 32% of American senior citizens exercise on a daily basis. "The best exercises for seniors include a combination of endurance, strength, balance and flexibility."

Today, on Senior Health and Fitness Day, AltaMed encourages all seniors and their caregivers to get active. Here are some tips from the National Institute on Aging to maximize the benefits of physical activity.  Please make sure to speak with you physician before beginning any new exercise routine.

1. Try to build up to at least 30 minutes of activity that makes you breathe hard on most or all days of the week. Every day is best. You don't have to be active for 30 minutes all at once. Ten minutes at a time is fine.

2. Keep using your muscles. Strength exercises build muscles. When you have strong muscles, you can get up from a chair by yourself, you can lift your grandchildren, and you can walk through the park.  Keeping your muscles in shape helps prevent falls that cause problems like broken hips. You are less likely to fall when your leg and hip muscles are strong.

3. Do things to help your balance. Try standing on one foot, then the other. If you can, do not hold on to anything for support. Get up from a chair without using your hands or arms. Every now and then walk heel-to-toe. As you walk, put the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of your other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch.

4. Stretching can help you be more flexible. Moving more freely will make it easier for you to reach down to tie your shoes or look over your shoulder when you back the car out of your driveway. It is best to stretch when your muscles already warmed up. Do not stretch so far that it hurts.

AltaMed Health Services

AltaMed is Southern California's leading nonprofit health care system delivering integrated primary care services, senior care programs, and health and human services for the entire family. AltaMed's team of multicultural and bilingual physicians and health care professionals deliver superior quality care through an integrated delivery system of 43 sites and an affiliated Independent Practice Association (IPA) of contracted physicians in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

SOURCE AltaMed Health Services

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