Doris Dressman has always followed an active path in life.
She says she raised a daughter and bicycled and walked with her. When her daughter went to college, Doris says, she was a little lost as to how to continue her activity.
Doris ended up partnering with a friend. Despite two back surgeries and some aching knees, they still walk five days a week. The Topeka Zoo's Wild Walkers Program is her latest adventure.
Doris says regular exercise helps her feel better mentally, and she has more energy to get more done.
Stormont-Vail occupational therapist Toby Thompson says exercise can go even further. He says it helps seniors maintain their independence. He says keeping a range of motion and strength and endurance translates into an ability to keep doing daily activities a lot of us take for granted.
Thompson says you don't need to go wild with exercise. He says you should start slowly, not comparing yourself to a friend or neighbor who may be more advanced. He also says to keep in mind that anything can be exercise, like a trip to the grocery store or working in the yard.
Thompson says walking is a perfect place to start because it works so many systems in the body. Walking works the legs and cardiovascular system, plus it's great for circulation and weight management.
Thompson says the last thing you should do is use those aches as an excuse to sit still. He says, "The more that you don't use it, causes you to lose it." He says while some exercise may be uncomfortable, if you're not moving your joints at all, you'll continue to get stiffer and stiffer, then you'll get weaker, and before you know it, you'll see a big loss of mobility.
That's motivation enough for Doris to stay on track. She says it means a lot to her to keep going.
WIBW Expanded Coverage
Topeka Zoo's Wild Walkers Program
The Friends of the Topeka Zoo sponsors the program, which encourages seniors to walk along the zoo's half-mile loop. Ten visits earns a reward. The zoo will open at 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for the program. Participation is free for FOTZ members, or seniors can purchase a ticket for each visit in advance. Contact the zoo for more information.
Stormont-Vail HealthCare’s HealthWise 55 and Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging jointly sponsor week
(Topeka, Kan.) - Stormont-Vail HealthCare’s HealthWise 55 and Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging are jointly sponsoring “Celebrating Age” the first week of May in honor of Older Americans Month.
The celebration is a week of events planned in the community for older adults. They include a theater performance, Senior Prom, fitness classes at the YWCA and bingo.
The events are open to anyone in the community. Tickets are required for some of activities. They can be obtained from the HealthWise 55 office, located at the east entrance to Stormont-Vail HealthCare or by calling
(785) 354-6787, or from the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, 1720 S. Topeka Blvd., or by calling (785) 235-1367.
Here’s a listing of events:
Sunday, April 30: TCT Performance
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare • Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy • 3028 S.W. 8th Avenue.
Show begins at 2 p.m. Drinks and dessert can be purchased. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased at Stormont-Vail’s HealthWise 55 or Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging. For information, call (785) 354-6787 or (785) 235-1367.
Monday, May 1: Bingo at the Moose
Bingo at the Loyal Order of the Moose • 1901 North Kansas Ave. • 1:30 to 3 p.m. The event is free. Prizes will be awarded. No reservations are needed.
Tuesday, May 2: Get Fit at the YWCA
Enjoy a morning of getting fit at the Topeka YWCA, 225 S.W. 12th Street.
You may attend any or all of the activities at the YWCA, beginning at 8 a.m.
through 1 p.m.
8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. - Arthritic Aqua Exercise Class in the Therapeutic Pool.
9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. - Sit and Be Fit Class in the Health Arena.
9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. - Exercise Equipment Demo in the Health Arena.
10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Tai Chi Class in the Studio.
11 a.m. to Noon - Healthy Foot presentation by Chris Brodine, DPM, in the Studio. The presentation will include tips for diabetics and their footwear as well as knowing what to look for when buying new shoes.
Noon to 1 p.m. - Aqua Class Sampler in the Therapeutic Pool. This includes exercises that are part of the Arthritic Aqua Exercise class, Fibromyalgia class and Aqua Yoga class.
There will also be other ongoing activities, including cardiovascular equipment use, whirlpool use, indoor walking track, lap swimming and blood pressure checks. Each of the exercise programs is done at a low-level intensity, but participants should consult with their physician prior to participation.
Parking is available at the YWCA at 13th and Van Buren, including handicap parking. The entrance to the YWCA exercise facilities are easily accessible from the 13th and Van Buren entrance.
The YWCA will have snacks and beverages available. For more information on the YWCA activities, call Darren Falk at (785) 233-1750, ext. 225.
Friday May 5: Senior Prom
Senior Prom • Ramada Inn Ballroom
Dance the evening away to the music of “The Fairlawn Road Swing Band,” from 6:30 until 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person to dance and listen to the music. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres included with your ticket.
Tickets can be purchased at Stormont-Vail’s HealthWise 55 or Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging. For information, call (785) 354-6787 or (785) 235-1367.
Sponsors for the “Celebrating Age” activities are Capitol Federal Savings, Topeka Capital-Journal, Heartland Home Health and Hospice, Midwest Health Services, Inc., and Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home.
Supporters are Assisted Transportation and Home Health, Atria Retirement and Assisted Living, Brewster Place Retirement Community, Cox Communications, Great Plains Hearing and Speech Associates Inc., Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital, Stormont-Vail Foundation, and Topeka YWCA.
Contributors are AAA Kansas Inc., Aldersgate Village, AT&T, Commerce Bank and Trust, Drury Place, Envision, Lawrence Therapy Services, McCrite Plaza Retirement Community, and Midland Hospice.