There may be no fountain of youth or wondrous anti-aging pill available on the planet today, but it's been conclusively demonstrated in study after study that regular physical activity is the next best thing to a silver bullet.
Studies show that daily exercise can decrease all the biomarkers of aging by reducing chronic diseases and improving general health and quality of life — particularly in adults over the age of 50.
Regular exercise decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other chronic illnesses; improves posture and balance; increases energy and stamina; improves lean muscle; normalizes blood pressure; improves bone density; helps with weight control and improves sleep habits; increases brain function; improves self-confidence; and decreases depression.
Orange Coast College's Physical Education and Athletics Division is inaugurating a brand new program for adults over 50, titled "The Second Half — Adult Fitness Program." Initially, the program will consist of two classes, "Strength and Balance" and "Cardio and Stretch." Additional classes will be attached to the program at a later date.
The first class in the program, "Strength and Balance" (Physical Education 199), will be offered next spring. Spring semester classes begin on Monday, Jan. 30. The
class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:35-11 a.m. It is open to seniors throughout Southern California.
"The program is designed both for persons who are already physically active, as well as for those who are sedentary but who wish to become more physically active," says Barbara Bond, dean of OCC's Physical Education and Athletics Division. "The goal of the program is to help students improve their quality of life in the second half of their life through a holistic/wellness approach that integrates physical, mental and social aspects."
All classes in the program will be offered on OCC's campus. The college's state-of-the-art fitness facilities include an all-weather track, a cardio lab, a strength lab, and aerobics rooms. Students will have an opportunity to access those facilities at a fraction of the expense of a program that they'd likely encounter at a gym or health club.
The first class to be offered in the series, "Strength and Balance," will assist senior adults in addressing mobility issues that are frequently experienced by persons 50 years of age and over. Mobility problems often occur as a result of poor muscular strength and endurance.
"Strength and Balance" will help students to improve overall strength, a vital component for a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, balance and stability concepts will be explored, and specific exercises will be taught and practiced.
The second course in the program, "Cardio and Stretch," will help seniors to improve cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. That class will be offered for the first time in the fall of 2006.
"This is not just another fitness program for seniors, I assure you," Bond stresses. "‘The Second Half — Adult Fitness Program' will help participants to integrate physical activity and a healthy lifestyle into the best time of their lives."
Bond says the program will be taught by degreed professors and instructors who possess years of experience and expertise in the health and fitness fields. Student costs will be less than what individuals would experience at a gym or health club.
For information about OCC's new Adult Fitness Program, phone (714) 432-5766.