A Healthy Balance: Tips for Active Aging for Body and Mind from SBCC School of Extended Learning

 This fall, back to school has a whole new meaning when you take charge of “re-training” your body and mind to mitigate many of the negative changes that happen with aging. 

As we age we tend to have reduced sensory input, decreased physical fitness and a slower reaction time. These are important factors to consider not only to maintain stability and a healthy body, but also to maintain a healthy mind. By keeping your body and brain active throughout your life, you can improve your physical fitness, balance skills and mental acuity. 

Balance Exercises: The goal is to challenge your balance system in a variety of ways so it will ‘learn’ to respond appropriately. Balance exercises create muscle memory, strengthen neuropathways and enhance reaction time. When doing exercises, use support if needed.

  • “Tight Rope”: Walk as if on a tightrope, one foot in front of the other, with the toes of the back foot up against the heel of the front foot. More difficult: Do it backwards or with eyes closed. 
  • Grapevine: Step sideways with a slight crossover, alternating the leg that’s in front. Go both directions. 

Brain Exercises: The goal is similar to balance exercises: Challenge your mind in various ways, which can help the brain compensate for age-related changes. Examples: study another language; take up a new hobby; engage in social activities. Research shows that it’s beneficial to challenge cognitive skills while doing physical exercises, so do math problems in your head while “walking the Tight Rope” or recite the alphabet backwards while marching in place.

Thanks to aging expert Sally Saenger for these useful tips, who teaches at SBCC School of Extended Learning alongside a team of expert instructors in many other subjects.

NEW Tuition-Free Health & Self-Management Classes (and more) for Older Adults

This fall, we are excited to add 30 NEW classes to the hundreds already offered by the School of Extended Learning, including these NEW tuition-free options to help you maintain independence, safety, and well-being.

Register now for fall classes in person at the SBCC Schott or Wake Campus or visit www.sbcc.edu/ExtendedLearning

NEW tuition-free Health & Self-Management classes include:

  • Health and Wellness for Older Adults: Active Body, Active Mind
  • Overcoming Barriers to Managing Your Weight
  • Touch for Health Plus
  • Body-Mind Medicine: Brain Longevity
  • Nature’s Defenses: Exploring the Immune System 

Stay creative and involved this fall with these NEW Tuition-Free courses in Creative Art, Creative English and Self-Management:

  • New Techniques in Painting and Mixed Media: For Older Adults
  • Flower Arranging: For Older Adults
  • Clay Portraiture: For Older Adults
  • The Wonderful World of Movies: For Older Adults
  • World of Interest: For Older Adults

Register now for fall classes in person at the SBCC Schott or Wake Campus or visit www.sbcc.edu/ExtendedLearning

Locations & Hours

310 W. Padre St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

300 N. Turnpike Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93111

Apply & Register online: https://www.sbcc.edu/extendedlearning/apply-reg.php 

Leave a Reply