Needham’s North Hill Residents Named “Helsinki University Research Heroes”

Finnish company HUR (Helsinki University Research), manufacturer of exercise equipment for seniors announced today that residents of North Hill senior living in Needham MA have been inducted into its “HUR Heroes” program based on the dramatic results they’ve achieved in improving strength and balance using HUR equipment.

North Hill fitness manager, Linda Riley is thrilled with the news. “Balance diminishes as we age,” she explains. “We introduced HUR’s iBalance machine into our program to help residents restore any balance they may have lost. By strengthening core muscles with the IBalance machine, residents can avoid the disastrous falls that sometimes happen with older adults and remain healthy and active as they age.”

HUR equipment was designed especially for seniors who want to stay strong as they age. After an initial assessment of balance deficits, trainers can customize programs using the embedded software in the machines. Residents can then simply insert their smart-card when it’s time to work out. The unique air resistant technology eliminates pressure on joints and allows for smooth, uninterrupted movement in weight training.

The iBalance machine engages both brain and body with exercises that strengthen large core muscles and smaller muscles in the ankles and feet. Working at first with trainers, residents compete with themselves on the machine by playing games and traveling through mazes on the machine.

After a few sessions, they can work independently on the machine, and most can’t wait to get there.

“Residents quickly notice how their improved balance is making their life easier,” says Riley, “and it motivates them to do even more.”

Just ask North Hill resident Pat MacKinnon: “Shortly before we moved to NH I had 2 bad falls which sent me to the emergency room…When we moved in I knew that my balance needed to improve. I took a few balance classes and learned exercises. When the new machine arrived I couldn’t wait to use it. The games, especially the maze, are a much more enjoyable way to practice and I hope that I can stay away from the emergency room.”

The HUR machines automatically record and track progress of individuals as well as the North Hill population over time, making assessments and program changes easier for trainers and users. Data gathered on HUR’s website has indicated a 286% increase in strength by older residents using HUR equipment

North Hill’s residents are proof of the progress. “the balance games make me feel that I am getting a good workout and also having fun!, says resident Judy Holberman”

Using HUR equipment is one of the many ways Riley attends to the health and wellness of North Hill residents to assist in healthy aging. Programs for mind and body include yoga, aquatic exercises and games; Pilates; Zumba; mediation; walking; lectures on nutrition and wellness, and a “passion board,” where residents can engage with healthy activities that ignite their personal passions.

“A good mind-body connection, an active lifestyle and a strong, supportive community are keys to happy, healthy aging,” says Riley. At North Hill we do everything we can to be sure that all our residents can be happy, healthy heroes.

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