Exercise at Senior Social Center sparks camaraderie as well as fitness | CraigDailyPress.com

Exercise at Senior Social Center sparks camaraderie as well as fitness

Circuit training class, part of a medley of fitness activities, meets at 9 a.m. on Fridays

Michael Neary

Exercise Instructor Tammy Workman, standing, talks with Jean Jones (left) and Jan Rogers on Friday during circuit training at the Senior Social Center in Craig.

— The circuit training classes at the Senior Social Center in Craig tend to draw people who seek something beyond physical fitness, even though they seek that, too. As Margaret Sellers put it, "friendship, fellowship and meeting new people" are key parts of the Friday sessions.

The Senior Social Center has been offering the sessions from 9 until about 10 a.m. on Fridays since January, with Tammy Workman serving as the exercise instructor. Circuit training is part of a growing number of exercise activities sponsored by the center — a list that includes two walking classes, pickleball and other activities.

"It's adaptive circuit training," said Jackie Camp, program coordinator for the center. Camp, too, emphasized the social component.

"It's camaraderie," she said. "That's a lot of the main focus: to get people out of their house and develop friendships and to be doing things."

The circuit training costs $1 per session for members for $3 dollars for non-members. The annual membership for the Senior Social Center is $12 per year.

People who come to the sessions use, among other equipment, recumbent bicycles and treadmills purchased in the last few months with the help of a grant from the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Colorado. They can also use Xrtubes that provide resistance for various kinds of movements.

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"This class is to promote not only cardiovascular (health), but also strength training and bone density," Workman said, and she noted core training, as well.

But Workman described, too, the way the exercise yields psychological and emotional benefits for the people who participate — especially confidence as people become stronger and more able to do things on their own.

That's the sort of confidence Eunice Linton seemed to describe as she exercised on a treadmill.

"I always thought, 'I can't do that," Linton said, and then she added with a chuckle, as she motioned to Sellers. "She talked me into it."

Jean Jones, along with others who participated on Friday, noted the importance of Workman's guidance — especially for people treading in exercise waters they haven't entered for some time.

"I think most of us haven't exercised in a long time, and so we don't know what we can do," Jones said.

Lois Stoffle also described the importance of exercising in a group of people, with a strong support system, and she noted a practical benefit, as well.

"I'm trying to get ready to go to Rome in June with my church group, and we're going to be doing a lot of walking, so this is really good to prepare for it," she said.

Since the Senior Social Center is open during the week, those who attend Friday's class can come in and exercise in between sessions. Camp also noted the way the class, and the equipment, can help people with some very particular health needs, such as those that surround surgery. Camp described one woman who used the equipment to tone up before hip surgery and then came back after it was over to work on rehabilitation.

But the theme that emerges again and again, as people reflect on the exercise routine they develop at the center, is the way that routine unfolds within a community.

"One of the things they stress in the class is to do things with other people," said Jan Rogers, participating on Friday. "The time just flies. You don't think, 'Oh, this is hard.'"

People interested in the Senior Social Center can call Camp at 970-326-3188.

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.