Just Keep Swimming’: Ingleside Senior Swimmers Share Tips on Healthy Aging through Community and Daily Exercise


Just Keep Swimming’: Ingleside Senior Swimmers Share Tips on Healthy Aging through Community and Daily Exercise

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average human needs about 150 minutes of exercise per week to remain healthy as they age, but 80% of Americans aren’t checking that box.

And while there may be a plethora of reasons why “getting older” could impose on your ability to exercise as frequently as you should, three residents of Ingleside at King Farm – all 95 years young – are living proof that it is possible, and that there is no excuse.

The three neighbors, Sy Herman, Peggy Adams, and Bob Verkouteren, are using their daily commitment to swim together to encourage and inspire each other’s healthy living choices and well-being. After retiring to the Rockville, Maryland senior living community, Ingleside at King Farm, just outside of Washington, DC, the aquateers became friends through their shared love of aquatic fitness, realizing they also shared the same diligence in being at the pool each day before sunrise, meeting as early as 6:30 a.m. to swim laps.

“One morning I’m in the water and I find these two rascals here, and now we’re here together every day,” said Peggy. The friendship among the three seniors grew close over the past year ever since the trio made a deal that they would start each day at the pool before breakfast.

Unlike forty percent of older adults in the U.S. who report chronic loneliness, Peggy, Sy and Bob, are a prime example of the positive impact meaningful relationships can have on maintaining a personal commitment to physical fitness and daily exercise.

Science has proven that positive social relationships play a role in better health and life expectancy

Each morning, the seniors take turns using the fast lane at The Herman Aquatic Center at Ingleside at King Farm, challenging their endurance while also making use of water weights and other strengthening tools. The aquatic trio bonded over a shared commitment to physical exercise, community-building, and philanthropic work – all factors that health studies have shown contribute to longevity and increased quality of life.

“I took up swimming because it was a sport I could enjoy daily,” shared Sy. “I couldn’t play tennis and couldn’t play golf. So, I took up swimming, which has added years to our kissbrides.com look at the website lives and life to our years!”

Fitness is an essential part of the Ingleside culture of living a healthy and engaged lifestyle. Ingleside’s state-of-the-art fitness facilities include a fitness center with robust programming and access to a physical trainer to tailor and support strength and cardiovascular training.

Not only does Sy use the various fitness amenities at Ingleside, but he’s also provided financial support and resources back into the senior living community to help better its aquatic facilities. Upon moving to Ingleside, Sy and his wife Sheila donated a gift to the Westminster Ingleside Foundation, with an amount specifically designated for the Aquatic Center. “It’s wonderful being here,” Sy said. “There are so many opportunities to be involved. ”

I really love this place

Ingleside at King Farm, and it’s sister communities, Ingleside at Rock Creek, and Westminster at Lake Ridge were officially recognized when they received the 2023 SAGECare platinum-level lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) cultural competency certification. SAGECare is acknowledged as the foremost comprehensive, national cultural competency training program dedicated to improving the lives of older LGBT adults. Additionally, Ingleside participates in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and SAGE’s Long-Term Care Equality Index (LEI), earning the designation as an “LGBTQ+ Long-Term Care Equality High Performer.”

“Ingleside has always been, and will continue to be committed to fostering a culture of health and inclusion,” said Christine L. Podles, MA, HSE, LNHA, Chief Operating Officer of Ingleside. “We recognize and celebrate each person’s individual uniqueness and strive to help them live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. It is a core value that we continue to ensure is ingrained into the fabric of the Ingleside family.”

Fitness helps lengthen lives. According to a study in Journal of Aging Research, those who exercise regularly-even for as little as three hours a week-can live up to almost 7 years longer than those who aren’t as physically active. The three swimming seniors made a pact that they would live long, healthy lives, making it to their 100th birthdays together.

“We will all be turning 100 years old within four months of each other, and I’m already sending out verbal ‘save the dates,’” said Peggy. The aquateer is already planning the party for the trio. “ – everyone is invited!”

The aquateers plan to have their celebration at no place other than The Herman Aquatic Center. Sy shared, “We’re going to have a Century Club ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by music, dancing, and a great meal for the entire community.”


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