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Silver Sneakers On Newly Paved Roads

By Gina Ramsey

When the pandemic forced the closure of gyms and community centers, many senior citizens rerouted their exercise routines to include long walks around the city. Now that gyms are holding classes outdoors, folks are eagerly lacing up those sneakers and heading on over to the YMCA, where they invite friends and neighbors to join them.

The white tents are up, the music is pumping, and the weights are out for the Silver Sneakers class at the Lakewood YMCA. With the extra space available outside, I watched as over 30 participants enjoyed an exercise class led by instructor Ace Rosenfeld. The 45-minute class incorporates dance moves, light weights, resistance bands, Pilates and yoga stretches, as well as balance exercises with the help of a chair if needed. Most exercises could be done seated as well, and chairs are accessible to all participants.

The upbeat music kept everyone moving and enjoying the workout.

“I try to always make sure we’re having fun,” Rosenfeld said. “Otherwise it’s just exercise and they won’t want to come back,” she laughs.

The consensus among participants Roseanne Yoshida, Brenda Lynch (both 76), Roberta Moore (71), and Rhonda Love (64), the “young pup” of the group, was clear: Rosenfeld’s classes are some of the best attended. “She keeps it fun and we get a good workout,” one said. “This is one of the best classes.” Rosenfeld, who has been teaching since 2010, also leads the Zumba Gold classes.

Over at the Los Altos YMCA, instructor Juan Salazar leads a 45-minute Senior Fit circuit training class that uses weights, resistance bands, and other cardio moves. Pam Callender (73) has been attending the Senior Fit class for about three years and was excited when the Y began having classes outdoors. “Being outside is so much better, so many more people can participate,” she said.

Laurie Murrin (67), a retired LBUSD principal, and her husband, Bob (69) attend several classes together. The Murrins are very involved with the Y; Laurie has served on committees and Bob is on the board of directors. “This is where I learned how to swim growing up,” Bob said.

The outdoor classes have become so popular that associate executive director Sarah Faulkner said they plan to make the change permanent. “We want to keep the classes outdoors forever,” she said. “Our members love them, the camaraderie is great, they are so supportive. Our members are the hidden gem of this neighborhood.” At both locations, aqua fit classes are hugely popular for seniors, as are the Zumba Gold and classes focusing on stability and balance.

The city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine also offers senior citizen specific activities. Opportunities include gardening at several regional parks and senior community centers, as well as workouts in the swimming pool. All lap swim and water exercise classes are reservation only at this time, but subject to change in the future. Pre-registration required for all activities. Water exercise classes are free for seniors over 50. Lap swim is still a $2 fee.

Lap Swim (may change depending on recreation swim)

M/W/F: 5:30-9:15 a.m., 10 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

M/W only: 7-8:45 p.m.

T/Th: 5:30-9:15 a.m., 11 a.m.-2:45 p.m., 7-8:45 p.m.

Sat/Sun: 8a.m.-11:45 p.m.

Water Exercise

M/W/F/Sun: 10:05-10:45 a.m. Deep Water Exercise

M/W/F/Sun: 11:05-11:45 a.m. Shallow Water Exercise

T/Th: 7:05-7:45 p.m. Shallow Water Exercise

Lap Swim (may change depending on recreation swim)

M/W: 12-2:45 p.m.

T/Th/F: 6-7:45 a.m., 12-2:45 p.m.

Sat/Sun: 12-2:45 p.m.

Water Exercise

M/W: 6-6:50 p.m. Shallow Water Exercise

T/Th/F: 6:30-7:20 a.m. Deep Water Exercise

T/Th/F: 8-8:50 a.m. Shallow Water Exercise

Lap Swim (may change depending on recreation swim)

M/W/F: 6:30-7:15 a.m., 7:30-8:15 a.m., 12-12:45 p.m.

Sat: 12-12:45 p.m.

Sun: 8-8:45 a. m., 9-9:45 a.m.

Water Exercise

M/W/F/Sun: 10:05am-10:50am Deep Water Exercise

M/W/F/Sun: 11:05am-11:50am Shallow Water Exercise



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