Get fit and have some fun

by Ruth Griffiths

This column is blatant self-promotion. I want you to enjoy the benefits of physical fitness. Regular exercise will help to control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. It will strengthen your bones and improve your outlook on life. It will help you live a longer, more fulfilling life.

The group exercise program I lead at the Margo Fournier Centre focuses on functional fitness. I like to help people improve their ability to perform daily activities and prevent falls.

The class is called Easy Adult Fitness, but we can work up quite a sweat some days. Participants are encouraged to work to their level of ability; many of us are dealing with arthritis or “a bum shoulder” for example.

The class is held in the main floor gym from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s a drop-in class so you can come the days that suit you best.

The social aspect of group fitness is very important. It’s nice to be part of a group that notices when you aren’t able to be there.  After class many take advantage of the drop-in coffee time at the Heritage Centre, just down the hall.

Canadian guidelines suggest we get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week plus muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week. That’s why every session of Easy Adult Fitness includes exercises that strengthen the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.

If you have a chronic health condition such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease, talk with your doctor to find out if your condition limits, in any way, your ability to be active. I’m not a physiotherapist or a personal trainer, so I can’t prescribe specific exercises for you.  But I can offer you an hour of fun on weekday mornings that will ramp up your metabolism and get you ready to take on the day.

I also lead a one-hour Gentle Yoga class each Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Calvary United Church. You don’t need to be able to get down onto the floor to enjoy the benefits of yoga breathing and stretching. This class is specially adapted for those who have an injury or some physical limitations. However, like my other classes, Gentle Yoga is open to all levels of physical ability. 

Easy Adult Fitness begins Sept. 6 and the chair-assisted yoga class begins Sept. 12. Both are drop-in classes, so you don’t have to register in advance, just come whenever you are able.

Let’s start the fall season right. Let’s get fit and have fun.