In celebration of Active Aging Week, the Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program invited the public to participate in a Muscle Strength and Range of Movement class last week at the Minot Family YMCA.
"There are numerous benefits to the SilverSneakers program. For older adults, when they are engaged in regular exercise, it helps them to maintain their health and well being, and their independence," said Lorrie Carlson, account manager for the SilverSneakers Fitness Program.
"In the program, we do active daily living and functional fitness exercise," she added.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Participants in the SilverSneakers Muscle Strength and Range of Movement class at the Minot Family YMCA practice exercises with the use of the SilverSneakers exercise balls and movement.
Participants in the Muscle Strength and Range of Movement class at the Minot YMCA agreed that the program has improved their fitness levels and has made activities of daily living easier.
"It really does help build your strength," said participant Grace Johnson. "Just doing the simplest exercises can make you realize how many muscles you don't use on a daily basis."
"My balance is much better, and my coordination is improving," added participant DeNee Hansen. We do a lot of upper body strength exercises, and my wrists are stronger. It's helped a lot."
Minot's class began about two years ago, and it has grown steadily over the summer.
"The class has really started growing strong since June," said Sandra Price, senior adviser for the Minot Y SilverSneakers program. "Word of mouth is really getting it going. People are inviting their friends and their family members."
During the class, participants work with stretch bands, hand weights and an exercise ball. The class allows for individuals to work at their own pace, so even those who may not have been active in awhile will still feel comfortable.
"One of the interesting things about our program is that about 60 percent of our members have never before walked in the door of a fitness facility," Carlson said. "The program does help remove those barriers, specifically the fear of the unknown."
Minot participants said they like the upbeat attitude in the class as well as the fitness benefits.
"There's nothing too strenuous or too excessive about it. You're not supposed to look like Superman. There's no competition, you just work at your own pace," said participant Sylvia Rau.
"This class has just been wonderful," said participant Karen Woolard. "Sandra (Price) is delightful, and the class is just fun. I'm excited about this class."