Ezer Mizion’s Malka Hager Fitness Center for Senior Adults, dedicated in memory of the late Mrs. Malka Hager, provides a wide variety of health and fitness services for older adults. The Center offers lectures and workshops on health promotion, and exercise programs targeting the senior population.
This pioneering initiative comes to raise awareness of the importance of preventive health activities and fitness maintenance among senior citizens.
Malka Hager Fitness Center’s state-of-the-art facilities include a large hydrotherapy swimming pool and an exercise hall furnished with aerobic and fitness equipment appropriate for seniors.
A professional staff of social workers and physical education teachers specializing in the elderly population helps guide each participant and groups to the diet and exercise regimen appropriate for them. Activities are designed to strengthen motor skills and muscle tone and enhance alertness.
Vast research points to the far-reaching health benefits of regular physical activity and its importance in lessening the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gastrointestinal cancer, etc. Exercise also has an ameliorative effect on the mental and physical condition, reducing anxiety, depression, etc.
Promoting Health Awareness
“Different exercises are geared to specific purposes, such as building bones mass, preventing heart disease, improving daily functioning, lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, maintaining balance, and preventing/ treating lower back pain – or to relax or achieve emotional equilibrium. A wide variety of activities is tailored to various fitness levels and ages,” notes Benny Kelner, coordinator of physical activity for seniors at Ezer Mizion.
Kelner, who is a certified physical education teacher with a Masters in Public Health from the Hebrew University, stresses that each person must find the type of physical activity he enjoys. He recommends varying the type of exercises – individual exercise, group classes, walking, swimming etc. “If you enjoy it, you will continue doing it over time,” he says.”The bottom line is to improve those abilities that will enable seniors to continue to function independently, increase their vitality and improve their quality of life,” notes Kelner
Community Outreach Programs
As part of the Malka Hager Fitness Center initiative to raise health awareness among senior citizens, Ezer Mizion has launched community outreach programs. These include: the Social Health Club, a program that combines education for correct nutrition with physical activity, while providing the social outlet that so many older people desperately need; public symposiums on health promotion and fitness; and, in a cutting edge initiative, exercise classes at adult-study programs for senior citizens.
Ezer Mizion’s Malka Hager Fitness Center is directed by Mrs. Sarah Topper, CSW, and is staffed by a professional team of social workers, nurses, and physiotherapists whose specialty is geriatrics.