With National Women’s Health Week coming to a close, we’re recognizing one resident of Sunrise on Old Meridian, IN, who has displayed a remarkable dedication to physical fitness.

Dr. Susan Rogers spent her career as a practicing pathologist at Marion General Hospital in Indiana. This kept her mind active and stimulated, but like most pathologists, she spent much of each day sitting in front of a microscope and computer screen or standing stationary at a lab bench. The lack of exercise caused Susan’s muscles to atrophy, leading to deterioration of strength, balance, and coordination.

About 20 years ago, Susan resolved to improve her physical fitness. She began weight training, running, participating in martial arts, and working with a certified trainer.

Now 75 years old, Susan’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle continues at Sunrise on Old Meridian. “I don’t feel that old!” she says.

Susan uses the community’s gym six times each week and regularly walks the scenic outdoor path surrounding the community. “The rehabilitation and fitness facility in Sunrise is a bright spot and serves as a center of not only rehabilitation, but as a restoration and maintenance facility for all,” she says.

Susan enjoys using the community’s recumbent stepper, which exercises the lower limbs and allows one to choose the appropriate level of resistance.

Additionally, Susan engages in weight training to keep her upper body healthy. “The pneumatic (air pressure resistance) weights are easy to adjust and keep track of repetitions,” she says. “Classic lightweight dumbbells for upper limbs are also useful for limberness and stretching activities involving trunk muscles.”

In addition to working out in the community gym, Susan credits the community’s dining program for presenting food options that are both delicious to eat and nutritionally sound. She particularly enjoys the sugar-free dessert options, including cookies, cakes, and mousses.

Not only do the community exercise classes keep Susan’s body feeling right—they also help her to socialize with fellow residents and maintain a healthy and positive mental state. She says that exercising can change brain chemistry, which results in feeling more alert and motivated following a workout.

“It is really fun to participate in Word of the Day with fellow Sunrisers after workout in the learning and social sense,” Susan says. “Exercise is a powerful additive to therapy for those with intermittent minor or prolonged major episodes of depression, as well as ‘blahs’ common in daily life.”

At Sunrise, we know how paramount physical activity is to keeping a senior’s mind, body, and spirit healthy. That’s why our communities offer daily walking clubs, aerobics, classes, strength training, and more as part of our Live With Action programming. Watch this video to learn more!



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