March 19, 2012

USA: For the aging simple workouts can better their life

LORAIN, Ohio / The Morning Journal / News / March 18, 2012

Silver Sneakers offers classes to improve movement

By Kaylee Remington

Senior citizens who have had to deal with knee and hip replacements and assorted physical affects of aging can always do simple workouts to better their life.

The Silver Sneakers program at YMCA locations offers classes for those who would like to improve movement and overall physical health for simple daily activities.

Jeanie Waylend, the instructor for the Silver Sneakers program at Vermilion Family YMCA, has been teaching the class for 12 years, and gets around 30 to 35 people in her classes. She leads an arthritis walking class at 9 a.m. and weight training at 10 a.m. The classes, she said, are a way to make life easier.

Nancy Haydin concentrates on engaging her biceps as she lifts hand weights during the Silver Sneakers adult fitness class at the Vermilion YMCA. MORNING JOURNAL/ANNA NORRIS

“The walking class builds bone density,” Waylend said. She said these exercises will help those to do easy chores such as getting the mail, pulling up pants, getting off the toilet, doing the laundry and working in the kitchen.

For the weight training class, it helps add muscle tone. Waylend said after someone turns 40, he or she will lose 2 to 3 percent of their muscle each year. “If you don’t work out, they will shrink,” she said. She leads her group with simple heel raises and each time they do it, muscles will strengthen. “It will keep you living alone, independently,” she said.
At the French Creek Y in Avon, Kathy McKean leads the Silver Sneakers class, but before she does that, she teaches yoga. It is open to any age, but most of those that come are senior citizens.

The class focuses on balance and McKean works with all of them to see where they have issues. The more they do it, the more strength that will develop.

“The more you practice, the stronger (balance) will be,” McKean told her class.

One of her exercises involves a pose called the power pose in which class members are asked to bend the knees and hold their arms out with their spine erect. The position strengthens thighs.

“That’s why it’s called power pose, it makes you powerful,” she said.

When practicing yoga, McKean offers different variations to a pose or stretch if some are unable to let go of their chair because of balance issues. She told her class “Whatever one your body says, ‘OK, we can do this.’”

Most of the senior citizens that go to her yoga class, stay for her muscle strength class, a class for Silver Sneakers. It requires high energy and gets the class members moving. McKean turns on music before the class starts to get some of them to dance.

The Silver Sneakers muscle strength class is held Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays with two classes on Mondays.

Norm Lumato, 61, who had a knee replacement, is a regular who comes to the yoga and muscle strengthening class three times a week.

“They’re good classes,” Lumato said.
“This is a little harder for me; I have no rhythm,” he joked.

Since he comes to class on a regular basis, he has noticed that doing daily activities has become easier for him. He has seen improvement in performing tasks and doesn’t deal with as much stiffness from his knee.
© Copyright 2012 The Morning Journal
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