Ryman residents exercise more than their peers in the community, a new study shows. The reason for this is the Ryman Triple A Programme, which stands for ‘Ageless, Active and Aware’.
Regular exercise can help ward off the affects of heart disease, dementia and other age-related illnesses. By keeping people physically active and providing them with the information and skills required to lead healthy lifestyles, Ryman promotes the continuing physical health, independence and quality of life for the people living in our retirement communities.
Triple A programme founder Nicki Brown explains: "The programme is provided free to all residents in every Ryman Village and has classes to cater for all levels of ability. It has exceeded all expectations and over 2500 residents participate at least twice per week in Ryman villages nationwide. Our residents have realised the tremendous benefits the programme has provided and notice significant gains in their overall health and wellbeing."
In 2013 Nicki completed a research study where she measured the physical activity levels of a group of subjects from throughout New Zealand prior to moving into a retirement village and then after they moved into the village. She had a 91% response rate from her sample with residents averaging 79 years. The oldest participant was 90 and residents at 13 retirement villages from around New Zealand took part. The conclusion was that moving into a village resulted in new habits that included more exercise.
"Its a significant result because there's a wealth of evidence that shows the more you exercise the healthier and more independent you will be in the long term."
When you have a gym, a pool and regular exercise classes on tap, it is harder to come up with excuses not to exercise! Bruce Gray moved into a Ryman village last year. He never misses his Triple A fix and says the move into a village has changed his lifestyle.
“I go three times a week – I’d go five but I’ve got golf on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I do Triple A for 40 minutes, and then go for 30 minutes in the pool. I’ve always loved the water but I never would have gone to exercise classes before - I just couldn’t be bothered. Everything’s here for me – it takes me three minutes to walk to Triple A. I see all my neighbours on the way.’’
The Triple A programme takes all levels of fitness and mobility into account. The most significant health improvement that participants reported from the increased exercise was greater balance and over-all mobility.