Local seniors celebrate National Health & Fitness Day





The Sterling Heights Senior Center was among several facilities in the country to mark National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 30 with a variety of exercise classes and healthy living events.

Organized as a good health partnership by the Mature Market Resource Center, Senior Health & Fitness Day offered fitness activities for older adults at more than 1,000 locations in the country.

The MMRC estimated more than 100,000 older adults participated in various healthy living events. National Health & Fitness Day is always the last Wednesday in May as part of Older Americans Month activities. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the event.

“Our goals for Senior Day are to make exercise fun, to increase awareness of the benefits of a regular exercise program for older adults, and to encourage all older adults to take advantage of the many health and fitness programs offered in their communities,” said Patricia Henze, National Senior Health & Fitness Day program manager.

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In Sterling Heights, the Senior Center marked the day by hosting a variety of events, including various workout demonstrations, and a stress relief seminar. The center also unveiled its new cardio fitness room. The new workout area has a variety of equipment for members to use, including specialty machines that reduce stress on the joints.

“This is a national event, so across the country senior centers in different places are bringing the awareness of the importance of fitness to seniors,” said Jennifer Rizzo, Recreation Specialist at the Sterling Heights Senior Center. “Some (seniors) think that they’re old and they can’t really move. That’s not the case. We’d like to let them know that there’s different levels of classes offered and different things they can participate in.”

During the event at the Sterling Heights Senior Center, instructor Patty Rio lead a session on chair yoga, a gentle form of yoga that’s practiced while seated. Chair yoga, Rio said, improves flexibility, balance, and body awareness. During the session, students learned a few simple postures while focusing on their breathing. She encouraged students to try the poses while thinking positive thoughts.

Rio, who teaches similar classes at senior housing facilities around Oakland County as well, wrapped up the session with a meditation exercise.

“I work on strength, stability and lengthening and strengthening our tissues.

I hope they leave with a greater awareness of their body and breathing,” said Rio. “Motion is like lotion, and (through yoga) you’re bringing some juice to your body.”

Chair yoga classes are offered Wednesday and Friday mornings at 9:30 a.m. at the Sterling Heights Senior Center.

Before using the new cardio fitness room at the Sterling Heights Senior Center, seniors must attend an orientation class. Cost is $2 per visit, or free for Sterling Heights residents ages 50 and older with valid ID. For information, call the center at 586-446-2750.

This article originally appeared here via Google News