A group of local seniors have been getting their blood moving at the County Seat Senior Center in Union.
There are exercise classes held three days a week to help seniors be more active and lead healthier lives.
“They get all of the benefits of exercise,” said County Seat Administrator Cathy Christensen. “It improves mobility and it improves strength.”
Classes are held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and instructors are Karen Dierking and Sherwood Kloppenberg.
Dierking was an elementary school physical education teacher for 31 years.
She explained that the workout includes a 10-minute warmup and then a routine that oftentimes includes hand weights or balls. That is followed by a cooldown.
Dierking added that the participants range in age from in their 60s to in their 90s, so they decide how much energy they can exert each workout.
“They exercise at their level,” she said. “I encourage them to do that.”
The blood pressure of participants is checked before exercise, and they can’t take part if it is too high.
Kloppenberg noted that he has seen the benefits of exercising regularly.
“It help keeps me limber, and it makes me feel better,” he said.
Kloppenberg said he was attending classes, and filled in one day when an instructor was not available. Since then he had been leading the Monday groups.
“It will keep you in better health if you exercise,” he said.
According to Dierking, there are many benefits of the exercise group.
“It helps the heart and lungs,” she said. “They are working together as a group and burning calories.”
“They get laughter and exercise, and it helps relieve stress,” added Christensen.
She said the group has grown in the past several months from eight to nine participants, to about 20.
The center is looking for the donation of some equipment, including weights or strength bands.
The exercise group, and any senior center activities, are open to seniors over 60 years old, or on disability.
Christensen said there are many other activities also available to seniors at County Seat.
The center offers a healthy living class, which is a self-management program for those living with chronic illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other diseases.
There are blood pressure screenings and sugar checks every month, exercise classes, bingo on Tuesdays and Fridays and monthly birthday and anniversary celebrations.
The center also raises funds through its jam sessions that are held the second and fourth Thursday of each month. A meal is served at 5 p.m. and the music begins at 6 p.m.
There are monthly card parties, and other activities.