Fitness class keeps seniors moving
- Published: October 4, 2018
For Jane Blakelock, a local senior fitness class has made all of the difference in her health and wellbeing.
Two years ago, Blakelock struggled to navigate subway stairs and keep up on long walks on a visit to her daughter in New York City.
But multiple classes each week of Lynn Hardman’s Sit Strong changed everything.
“I just visited [my daughter] recently and she was surprised at my ability to keep up with her,” Blakelock said this week. “And my energy level is amazing.”
Flo Lorenz also sees “an enormous difference” in her mobility since starting the fitness class, which includes both seated and standing exercises and is geared towards seniors.
“Before I started this class I was walking like a zombie,” said Lorenz, who was proud to potentially be the oldest person in the class at 85 years old.
And M.J. Dodson was sure that the class fixed a hip problem she didn’t even know she had.
“I didn’t have any sideways mobility with my leg. Now I’m can go straight up and down ladders,” she said. “This does wonders,” she said of the class.
Hardman, a local fitness instructor with a passion for senior wellness, is now starting a new workshop for local seniors.
The workshop, Fall Prevention and Balance, runs for five weeks at the Antioch Wellness Center starting Wednesday, Oct. 3, and is free to Silver Sneakers members.
Hardman is also celebrating three years of her twice-weekly Sit Strong classes, held at the John Bryan Community Center, after class next Tuesday, Oct. 2. Those classes run from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and are free for Silver Sneakers members and Yellow Springs Senior Center members. Others are charged a modest fee.
Hardman, who operated a local Curves gym from 2002 to 2015, has been focusing almost exclusively on senior fitness in recent years. In part, it’s because of the village’s aging demographics, she said.
“We are as old as Florida,” Hardman said of the village.
According to Hardman, within a one-mile radius of the Antioch Wellness Center there are 538 members of Silver Sneakers, a free senior fitness program offered by many insurance companies.
Hardman wants to help local seniors stay healthy and live independently as long as possible, she said this week. She even has her own version of the familiar quip about seniors living at home.
“I say ‘age in place with grace,’” she said.
Hardman’s classes are focused on improving seniors’ A, B, Cs — agility, balance and coordination — in part to prevent falls.
“The goal is to make our movements easier,” Hardman said of her exercises. She also aims for her students to get a gentle cardio workout and to improve their strength, stamina and flexibility.
After this week’s class, one student said that a wrist afflicted by carpal tunnel syndrome was feeling better after the exercises.
“Motion is lotion,” Hardman told her.
This week, a group of more than 20 local seniors applauded when Hardman announced that the class had been running for three years.
They were not only proud of themselves, they were grateful to Hardman.
“She’s a real community treasure,” Blakelock said.
For more information on local senior fitness classes, email Hardman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 937-765-2379.