Instructor Robin Johnson leads the senior exercise class at PMC's Wellness Center where seniors work on balance and hand-eye coordination among other things.

Seniors keep moving thanks to PMC's Wellness Center class

Long before the construction of the current Wellness Center, folks interested in working out had to make their way to the basement of Providence Medical Center to access a small facility that offered limited options in the way of equipment and classes simply due to space constraints.

That didn't stop members of the staff and public alike from utilizing the facility. 

It did, however, start a conversation and with the construction of the wellness and therapy wing in recent years, Providence Wellness Center has been able to expand its options and offerings. 

Seniors received a discounted rate while the class was in the basement, and that discount continued when the new facility was finished. 

That expansion included a fun-filled senior exercise class that had been started in the basement of PMC but has continued to gain in popularity with area residents.

"Linda Carr started the senior class when it was in the basement," Wellness Center director Heidi Keller said. "So it's been going on a long time. But when we moved up here, that's when it started to grow."

And grow it has, with some days reaching over 20 participants. It doesn't hurt that the class is a free class offered with a senior membership to the Wellness Center.

Class numbers fluctuate during the winter because of bad weather and poor driving conditions and some like walking outdoors during the summer, but overall the class is one that's hard to give up.

Robin Johnson took over teaching the senior class last August and hasn't looked back. 

"Pretty much they all come 3 days a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 until 11 and we try to keep them for as long as possible," Robin said.

Robin designs all the workouts, ensuring that several aspects of their health will benefit from the class.

"We work on their balance — we do a lot with weights and with the bands," Robin said. "Hand-eye coordination and working with memory also."

Robin discussed the importance doing exercises that require the seniors to watch their feet and where they're walking. 

Her workouts include several exercises for stepping up and over an object and paying attention to foot work to help prevent falls from shuffling feet.

"We're trying to keep their strength up — keep them out of wheelchairs and walkers," said Robin.  

Many seniors in the class have come to enjoy the Wellness Center so much that they come early to walk the track or stay later to use the equipment. 

And some just stay to socialize with other classmates.

"People will comment how they love to come here for the social aspect, to talk to other people," said Robin. 

That social aspect, be it the class itself or the friendships gained in the process has had a positive effect on many.

"A lot of their family members will comment when they come in that their parents love coming up here and they've noticed a difference in them — their strength, their attitude."

The Wayne Herald

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