90’s for 90 somethings

Morning exercise group at our facility is led by yours truly and CTRS Haley Mizell. We have started a decades theme to take us from the 2000’s back to the 1920’s. Today was 90’s day. Needless to say, my co-leader and I were excited about this group (especially the music selections), but are always a little concerned how they will respond to “modern music.” I would like to say…do not hesitate to introduce your geris to new music because, in my experience, they have been much more easy-going and open-minded in regards to trying new things than I some of our cultural stereotypes allow them. Not to say we disregard preferred music by any means, but it’s ok to take an occasional opportunity to add something new. Today, the loved it. We always start with this a brief warm up which included the following:

  • Stretching: “I Want it That Way” Backstreet Boys
  • Light Cardio: “Bye Bye Bye” NSYNC
  • Medium Cardio: “Who Let the Dogs Out” Baha Men

For our “dance moves” we try to stick with four to five movements working on upper and lower body and then repeating the sequence at increasingly faster rates. And just for the record, they wer bumpin’! I was surprised and thrilled when they began to sing along with “Who Let The Dogs Out” (who, who, who, who?!).

Next we moved to a typical 90’s kid game led by the lovely recreational therapist. She did an adapted version of “Categories” in which participants sat about 10 feet apart facing each other. One person was given a bouncy ball and had to name an item in the category before passing it to someone on the opposite side. Our categories were things like favorite restaurant, colors, deserts, and states of America. This actually turned into more of a cognitive exercise than anticipated, but went extremely well. If someone repeated an item in the category, they were “out” and another resident took their place.

We always add in some sort of instrument game at this point and in honor of the 90’s we played BOP IT! We split the residents into three groups and gave each group a different set of instruments: paddle drums, jingle bell slap bracelets, and maracas. Those with the drums were assigned “BOP IT,” those with jingle bells got “TWIST IT,” and the maracas represented “PULL IT.” I then started a beat with GarageBand and signaled the different groups with physical cues and by shouting out “BOP IT! PULL IT! or TWIST IT!” in random sequence, again gradually increasing the rate of change.

We ended with a cool down stretch to “I’m Like a Bird” by Nelly Furtado.

Our musical selection can be found in the Born in the 90’s playlist on Spotify.

Hope this encourages you to try new things with your geris! You and your residents will have a blast!


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