What is the best exercise you can possibly do? This question was posed to us by our Exercise Physiology teacher, Alice Shepard, M.S. (The answer is revealed in this article.) The question has since popped up on occasion in my own classes at Edmonds Senior Center; both in the Enhance Fitness, and Soft Exercise classes.
I have always been grateful to Alice, my teacher and mentor. Her expertise, wisdom and humor sparked in me a lifelong interest in teaching adult fitness classes. Certainly it is common knowledge that regular exercise is beneficial. Many individuals in our classes were advised by their doctors to start exercising. Our 9:30 a.m. Enhance Fitness one-hour format is packed full: joint warm-up, flexibility, balance, aerobics and weight-training. Participants report these real-life: results: increased stamina, being limber, improved balance, sharper senses, feeling stronger, happier frame of mind.
The 10:30 a.m. Soft Exercise class is a half-hour, chair-based format. The work we do promotes balance, mobility, flexibility and strength. Participants describe benefits such as: lowered blood pressure, easing of arthritis, improved balance, stronger muscles.
Participants are committed to their fitness. Some have been coming to class for 25 years, some longer. New participants are always made welcome. Support and camaraderie are a big part of our group dynamics. Many friendships are made here.
Returning to the question: “What is the best exercise you can possibly do?” Answer: The exercise you are willing to do!
You are invited to come and try out a class, free of charge. Come and see if what you find is “the exercise you are willing to do.” Quoting one participant, “You’ll work, but you’ll sure have fun doing it.” Classes meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Edmonds Senior Center, 220 Railroad Ave.
For more information, call 425-771-4228.
— By Susan Bennett, Senior Center instructor