Fitness is an integral part of enjoying and prolonging our lives. Exercise helps develop muscle tone, improves our balance and posture. For seniors, the pandemic has made it even more challenging to achieve fitness while managing the strains and pains of aging.
Harbor Hills resident Dr. Claudia Thomas offers guidance. She is an orthopedic specialist in Lady Lake in practice for 43 years. Dr. Thomas was the first woman to be admitted to the Yale Orthopedic residency training program.
In her practice at UNOVA Health Care, Dr. Thomas sees recurring complaints among her senior patients. Low back pain, shoulder pain and knee pain are most common. “Fitness is a key factor in minimizing symptoms,” she states. “Harbor Hills is unique. Our gentle hills offer walkers the perfect fitness opportunity, with or without their dogs!” Other outdoor activities such as running, bike-riding and gardening can also be enjoyed while social distancing.
Even moderate strength training can make a major difference in senior health. It lessens the symptoms of chronic conditions such as back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. Yoga and chair exercises can be practiced within the safety of our homes. Set goals and switch up your routines to keep it fun. Don’t forget to play your favorite music and dance away!
Having survived cancer at the height of her career, Dr. Thomas cites faith as an integral component of a healthy life. To that end, she and her partners developed a mentoring program for at risk boys in Leesburg. God Spare Life is the name of Dr. Thomas’ autobiography. Many thanks to her and all the resident physicians at Harbor Hills and The Villages who keep us active, positive and safe!