Part 2: Physical activity is an important facet of life

April 12, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 11, 2013 at 11:12 p.m.

By Katie Sciba

Editor's Note: The is the second and final installment on staying fit while you sit. Part 1 published April 6.

It's true. The Senior Citizens' Center on Murray Street turned me into a Latin dancer. I'd never done the cumbia before, but this was my chance.

My co-worker Rita Williams had invited me to the Sit and Fit exercise class that she leads Friday mornings.

We had done the "YMCA," but now everyone was dancing around the tables. I threw caution to the wind and joined in.

Don't come here expecting Dancing with the Stars because what I was doing was more like a sashay.

What you can expect is a lot of smiling, singing and fun.

It hit me as I danced that this may be the only exercise these folks get this week. Next, we did the "twist" in our chairs. The kitchen door busted open, and Robert Foley, a driver at the Senior Center, came out doing the twist.

Foley said that he never misses the twist. Twisting with Foley can help you to maintain cognitive abilities, strengthen your body and improve mobility. I saw evidence that this class lifted spirits by the singing and the beaming faces.

"Physical activity is an important facet of life that affects the mind, soul and body," Debbie Garner, Murray Street Senior Center director, said. "Rita brings enthusiasm and fun. She really brings it all." Debbie said everyone counts on Rita's enthusiasm every week on Murray Street.

Are you a member of our community's elderly population? Perhaps you need more physical activity - or Latin dancing- in your life. You can stay fit even if it's best for you to sit while you exercise.

Williams said, "You can even shake it in your seat."

The point is to move your body to maintain strength and heart health.

The best exercise prescription for older adults includes aerobic exercise, strength training and balance and flexibility.

You can do this from your chair at home, but it sure is fun here at Murray Street to get jiggy with friends.

Check out these benefits you'll get from regular exercise:

Increase in bodily strength

Reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes

Reduced risk of falling

Decreased depression

Less pain from arthritis (Cassel, 2003) What are you waiting for? Talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise program.

The Murray Street Senior Center offers Sit and Fit at 9:30 a.m. Fridays. Other activities include bingo, Wii bowling, movie days, domino tournaments and Bible study. Blood pressure and blood sugar checks are offered twice a month.

If you are looking for a place to volunteer, follow Williams' example. Williams is committed to helping older adults in our community stay healthy and fit.

What can you do for the seniors in our community?

Source: Cassel, C. K. (2003). Geriatric Medicine : An Evidence-based Approach. Springer; Powell, Douglas H. Cognitive Aging. (2004). In Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Retrieved from

Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.



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