Weekly Ex­er­cise Class Keeps Se­niors Mov­ing

Escalon Times - - NEWS - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com

A new lo­ca­tion, same vi­tal­ity.

Escalon se­nior cit­i­zens are now meet­ing at the Escalon Branch Li­brary on Sec­ond Street for their twice-weekly ex­er­cise classes, mov­ing re­cently from the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. For most par­tic­i­pants, the move has been a good one, as they of­fered praise of the open, airy lo­ca­tion.

Started sev­eral years ago, the long run­ning Se­nior Gen­tle Ex­er­cise Class fo­cuses on move­ment and stay­ing lim­ber, keep­ing bones strong and mus­cles toned. Lead­ing the class this past Thurs­day were cur­rent co-lead­ers Vir­ginia Fer­reira and Joyce Noble. Nine were in at­ten­dance, which was down slightly from the norm, but Noble said there are many reg­u­lars who en­joy the class each week.

“The ex­er­cise and the as­so­ci­a­tion with oth­ers, so­cial­iza­tion,” par­tic­i­pant Robert Las­sos said of what keeps him com­ing back. “I think we all unan­i­mously like it.”

Added par­tic­i­pant Mary Ren­froe, “It keeps me mo­bile and the so­cial­iza­tion is great, bet­ter than watch­ing TV.”

Mary at­tends with hus­band Jim and both said they ap­pre­ci­ate the class and the op­por­tu­nity to both ex­er­cise and con­nect with friends. Also at­tend­ing the Thurs­day class was Dora Jensen, who agreed with the goals of stay­ing ac­tive and get­ting out to so­cial­ize.

Noble said she has been in­volved with the class for about a dozen years and most of that time it was at the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. Now, Tues­days from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Thurs­days from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. are the class times, with the ex­er­cise group meet­ing in the Ekholm Room at the li­brary.

“We do mainly the same songs, the same ex­er­cises” from week to week, said Noble, with dif­fer­ent paces for warm ups, ex­er­cise and cool down pe­ri­ods.

Among the mu­sic the se­niors ex­er­cised to at their re­cent ses­sion were such di­verse se­lec­tions as “YMCA” to “The Macarena” and even “The Hokey Pokey.”

Miss­ing the class on Thurs­day was one of the long­est tenured par­tic­i­pants, 94-year-old Zola Pritchard. She was, ac­cord­ing to other class mem­bers, hav­ing a new wash­ing ma­chine de­liv­ered that day and had to stay home.

Once a month, the group also has a potluck lunch fol­low­ing their class and they of­ten share some cof­fee and cook­ies af­ter a work­out as well, con­tin­u­ing the so­cial­iza­tion as­pect.

Jetty Hart­grove, 95, who at­tends with son Richard, said it has proven ben­e­fi­cial.

“It keeps me mov­ing,” she said. “I’m not go­ing to just sit on the couch and get stiff. Keep mov­ing.”

Long­time lo­cal res­i­dent Dorothy Gir­ling at­tended on Thurs­day, not­ing that she had seen in­for­ma­tion about the new lo­ca­tion in the pa­per and wanted to try the class.

“I marked it on my cal­en­dar,” Gir­ling said.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Joyce Noble, cen­ter, one of the lead­ers of the twice weekly Se­nior Gen­tle Ex­er­cise Class, helps guide par­tic­i­pants through move­ment to mu­sic at the Escalon Li­brary on Thurs­day.

Co-leader Vir­ginia Fer­reira is at right.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

The Se­nior Gen­tle

Ex­er­cise Class draws both men and women for the ses­sions, here with Robert Las­sos, fore­ground, and Jim Ren­froe be­ing put through the paces.

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