With restrictions slow to ease, many folks who initially planned to simply ‘wait it out’ are starting to think about joining the Zoom revolution. They’re seeing more and more of their friends getting onboard with the technology to re-engage in the activities that they so enjoyed pre-pandemic.
Our much-loved strength and balance exercise program for older adults, Living Longer Living Stronger (LLLS), has also gone online. In the beginning, we had only a few early adopters join the online program. But with restrictions grinding on, more and more people are joining in.
When we ask our LLLS participants about their motivation to join, they say:
- ‘I miss my buddies that I worked out, as well as the social interaction we had’
- ‘I can feel I’m losing my strength’
- ‘I feel stiff and sore!’
- ‘I’m bored with just walking’
Making the leap to online can be challenging: there’s the tech, the equipment and the mental barrier. But it can be done!
How does the technology work?
Using a video conferencing program like Zoom does mean a few steps to set up. But once it’s installed on your smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer, it’s as simple as clicking the link to join. Your LLLS instructor can help you get set up and answer your questions.
Many people are surprised to find that they don’t need extra equipment. All that’s required is a device (smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer) and an internet connection. If you don’t have a device, or find that your phone is too small, a tablet or iPad is a relatively cheap entry and is easy to use.
Many of our participants also have family (grandkids!) and friends help with the set-up. After a couple of practice runs, it’s very easy to use. You’ll wonder why you waited so long!
Read Faye’s story about how she got onto Zoom and how it has changed her life.
I don’t have any weights at home, can I still do LLLS?
Yes! We are very resourceful and there are lots of common household items that can be used to replace weights. We also use our body as a weight too! We will also have chair-based options if you are having wobbly days.
Will everyone see into my home? Do I have to tidy up?
With Zoom we encourage you to make the instructor the main screen that you see (as easy as clicking a button). That means that all the other participants are in smaller boxes on your screen. You certainly don’t need to tidy your house, as we will see very little of your surrounds. However, it is important that you have a clear area to reduce any risk of tripping.
Why do you use Zoom? Why can’t we use Facebook?
When we use Facebook, we can’t see what you are doing! One of the core elements of LLLS is that it’s an individualised program designed for you. The Living Longer Living Stronger Instructor will show you the exercise and then check that you are doing it safely. You will receive feedback, just like in a face-to-face session.
What does a LLLS online session look like?
Each LLLS instructor runs their sessions a little differently. However, most will follow this structure:
Warm up – This might look like some aerobic type exercises, or it might be some special stretches that we call mobilisers that prepare the muscles and ligaments. There will be lots of talking and checking in to see how everyone is feeling for the day.
Strength and balance training – There will be a series of exercises that target upper, lower and core strength. Balance exercises are often used to strengthen the core. Options will be given for each exercise. Your LLLS instructor will know what you can and can’t do and will guide you to what option is best for you. If you feel any discomfort, you can tell the instructor and they will be able to further modify or change the exercise to better suit you.
Warm down and stretch – The stretches chosen are based on which muscles were used in the session.
Social time – Often the Zoom room will be left open after the session, so you’re free to stay and chat with the others who attended.