Movement 4 Life Helps Improve Fitness and Reduce Fall Risk

Health & Wellness  |  January 21, 2021

Improving Mental and Physical Health for Older Adults

Movement 4 Life

It is well known that increased stress and disruption of daily exercise routines can contribute to an increased fall risk. Given the events of the past year, it’s not surprising that many senior living communities experienced an increase in falls among older adults. In order to combat the stress that the pandemic has placed on residents, Christian Living Communities and Cappella Living Solutions have created a new program called Movement 4 Life. The goal of Movement 4 Life is to improve physical and mental health of all residents and reduce fall risk by implementing an expert-designed exercise program that incorporates 4 major movements and increased regular activity. Cappella Living Solutions is proud to be a thought leader in senior living and continues to develop programing like Movement 4 Life that enriches the lives of residents for the communities they manage.

Regular physical activity through a program like Movement 4 Life has been shown to:

  • Reduce falls
  • Improve circulation
  • Decrease wounds
  • Improve strength & balance
  • Improve physical abilities
  • Improve mental health
  • Increase self esteem
  • Be an excellent individual or group activity
  • Enhance quality of life

Goal 1: Increase NEAT

NEAT is an acronym that stands for Non–Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT is made up of regular daily activities like cleaning the house, performing chores, playing with pets, etc. Any activity that involves movement instead of being sedentary is considered NEAT. For many people, NEAT decreases with age, which is why it is important to incorporate a NEAT objective as part of a well-rounded fitness program.

How can NEAT reduce fall risk?

NEAT, combined with a regular exercise program, helps reduce fall risk because the regular activity helps the body maintain muscle mass and improve balance and flexibility. According to researchers from Harvard Health, increased NEAT can help increase metabolism, which contributes to the maintenance of healthy weight. It can also reduce inflammation, which is a contributing factor in many diseases. Decreased inflammation has many benefits including reduced pain and health complications that could contribute to a person’s fall risk.

Goal 2: Implement Movement 4 Life exercises daily

Combined with increased NEAT are the following exercises recommended by our expert staff. These movements have been shown to increase balance, flexibility, and strength. Through the Movement 4 Life program, residents are implementing the four exercises daily with our team and checking in on their progress throughout the year.

Exercise Number 1: Marching in Place

March in place for two minutes, bringing your knees to mid-thigh level with each move. You can put a piece of tape on the wall next to you to mark how high you should raise your knees. Count how many times your right knee hits the mark within the two-minute period.

The average adult, ages 60 to 79, should be able to perform 68 to 115 marches per side.

Residents and team members from Sugar Fork Crossing, a Cappella managed community, perform some of the exercises from our Movement 4 Life campaign
Reduce fall risk with 4 exercises
Residents and team members from Sugar Fork Crossing, a Cappella managed community, perform some of the exercises from our Movement 4 Life campaign

Exercise Number 2: Sit-to-Stand

Sit on a sturdy chair with your feet hip-width apart and your arms crossed in front of your chest. From here, press through your heels to stand up. Count how many times you can stand up and sit back down in 30 seconds.

The average adult, ages 60 to 79, should be able to perform 10 to 19 reps.

Older adults stay strong with movement 4 life
Residents and team members from Sugar Fork Crossing, a Cappella managed community, perform some of the exercises from our Movement 4 Life campaign

Exercise Number 3: Sit-And-Reach

Sit on a sturdy chair with your feet hip-width apart. Extend one leg straight out in front of you, toes pointed toward the ceiling. The opposite foot should remain flat on the floor. With one hand on top of the other—and your back straight—reach as far toward your toes as you comfortably can, making sure not to bounce to go deeper into the stretch. Hold the farthest position for two seconds. Perform the test twice on both sides, and record your best result for each leg.

The average adult, ages 60 to 79, should be able to reach within four inches of the toes to five inches past them, no matter which leg is forward.

Exercise Number 4: Gait Speed

Stand with your feet at shoulder width and begin walking at a comfortable pace for 1 minute. See how far you can go within 1 minute. The goal is to increase your distance each week.

The average adult, ages 60 to 79, can walk an average of 2.5 miles every hour.

Movement 4 Life exercises to prevent falls in older adults
Residents and team members from Sugar Fork Crossing, a Cappella managed community, perform some of the exercises from our Movement 4 Life campaign

Track progress and celebrate

Everyone in our communities can agree that improvement in physical and mental health is a great goal for 2021. We look forward to checking in with residents throughout the year to celebrate their progress and support their exercise goals.

We own and manage senior living communities alongside our parent company, Christian Living Communities.

Hear what Our Clients Have to Say

"When we moved to Holly Creek we thought about what is visible, such as interiors, apartment layout, dining areas, which are all very nice but after living here for a year we have discovered what is most important is the people that live here and employees, who are all so considerate and kind who are at the HEART of Holly Creek. They make Holly Creek a special place in which to live."

- Don & Carol Furuta, Holly Creek Residents

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