If you happen to be at Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community at 10:30 in the morning on any given weekday, and you’re in their main building, you might suddenly find yourself in the middle of a crowd of casually-dressed residents, their faces red and shiny, their hair somewhat disheveled, pouring out of Fellowship Hall.
It’s the end of Senior Shape-Up, an exercise class many residents quickly describe as “a lot harder than it looks,” followed by “but I wouldn’t miss it for anything!” It’s easily one of the more popular activities on campus.
It is because of its interest in fitness that Arbor Acres has spent the last year constructing a brand new Fitness Center, complete with an aquatics area, a weight and machine room, a track, and (you guessed it) a studio perfect for group classes.
“It’s incredible,” says resident Charlotte Hubbard, an avid walker and chairperson of the Fitness Committee. “There are so many options, so much to do – I’ve never seen anything like it. The Center has something for everyone.”
Arbor Acres new Hanes Aquatic Center features three pools, each with a specific purpose. The aquatics class pool, designed for water aerobics, accommodates 15 participants and one instructor. The temperature is a comfortable 88 degrees, but what’s under the water is what residents like best: the shape, slope and depth of the pool have been intentionally designed so that residents feel safe and secure on their feet when exercising.
A lift makes the aquatics class pool accessible to all residents. Those who prefer a more solitary – and often more rigorous – form of water exercise can swim or walk in the two-lane, 60-foot-long lap pool. Once again, intentional design comes into play because it is a separate entity, water temperature can be adjusted to meet the needs of lap swimmers, and here too a lift makes the lap pool accessible to all residents.
To top it off, the Hanes Aquatic Center has what could be the most popular amenity in the entire complex: a whirlpool.
Dry ground offers even more choices. The equipment room houses treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals for cardio workouts, Nautilus machines and dumbbells for weight-bearing exercise, and a stretching cage to get the kinks out.
The group exercise studio boasts a state-of-the-art sound and projection system which enables residents to clearly see and hear the instructor during classes such as “Better Balance,” “Core Conditioning,” “Lengthen and Strengthen,” and of course, “Senior Shape-Up,” now offered at two levels.
On the rare occasions when a class is not offered, the studio can be transformed into an indoor tennis or volleyball court. Circling everything is an indoor track with special low-impact flooring, inviting residents to engage in the most popular exercise of all, walking.
“It’s all about wellness,” says David Piner, CEO of Arbor Acres. “Physical, mental, and spiritual fitness are all related to each other, and help keep a person whole.”