The Stateline Family YMCA offers a variety of senior fitness classes, for a variety of fitness levels. Their Senior Fit class accommodates more active seniors, requiring a fair share of standing during the various exercises. Alternatively, the Silver Sneakers class is tailored to those seniors that wish to stay active, yet struggle to maintain overt exercises for extended periods of time; most or all of the exercises are completed from within a chair. The YMCA has such a large senior population in its membership, they have decided to dedicate October to celebrating said senior members, as they host Senior Appreciation Month. During the event, the staff will work with seniors to develop healthy lifestyles. In the process, the employees will use social media to promote their message of senior fitness and honor several of their active members.
According to an article recently completed by Beloit Daily News, Nancy Johnson instructs one such class that consists of some of the YMCA’s regular senior members. Johnson is a fighter in her own right, having survived breast cancer, which has now been in remission for eleven years. In addition to this, Johnson is a recipient of open-heart surgery. The combination of these two experiences equips Johnson perfectly as the instructor of the class. Her motto, which results directly from her struggles, is to “never sit down.” To Johnson, this motto is the best means of living a healthy lifestyle and, as a result, she applies this belief to every single class she instructs with her seniors.
The class, therefore, relies on quite a bit of movement. The instructional period starts with some low-key aerobics walking, before carrying on to more intensive practices, such as weight training, balance exercises, stretching, jumping jacks and other various practices in leg work. Through her dedication, Johnson has helped the class grow significantly; in the ten years she has been teaching it, the class has grown from eight participants to over forty students, all by way of word of mouth.