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Benefits of Senior Center’s Exercise Program is Multi-Faceted

Mendon Senior Center Director Amy Wilson Kent wants her patrons to know that it's never too late to start exercising and to her delight, many seniors in the community have taken her advice and taken advantage of the various exercise classes offered at the Senior Center."We're very excited that this is taking off," said Wilson Kent.

Recently, the Senior Center was awarded a Stop and Shop Shape Up grant that is helping to subsidize programs that require a certified instructor, including chair yoga, yoga, and T'ai Chi. Other classes include a free stretch and flexibility class and a walking group (weather permitting).

Arlene Freeman began taking the chair yoga classes twice a week at the encouragement of a friend. "I'm really enjoying it," she said. "I just had knee surgery so I thought it would help me get back into exercising."

Studies have shown that exercise provides multiple health benefits for older adults who can gain a lot by staying physically active. The exercise classes offered at the Senior Center aim to increase flexibility, reduce stress, and help to improve balance and respiratory functions. Wilson Kent said she encourages any seniors interested in beginning the Center's classes to first get an okay from their doctor.

Diana Carter, an active volunteer at the Senior Center, has been taking the stretch and flex classes and chair yoga for some time and said she feels great after. "I feel very revived and invigorated," she said. Carter said it's great taking the classes at the Senior Center with people close in age to her. "It would be intimidating to go to a gym," she said.

However, it's not just the physical benefits that seniors are enjoying from their participation in the exercise classes; there is also the social aspect of meeting new people. "It's always nice to meet different people," agreed Freeman. Wilson Kent said she knows of two other women who met in a class recently and are now getting together on their own.

Another advantage is that it brings in new people to the Senior Center and allows them to discover the other activities offered and what services are available to them. "They can't help but find out what's new," said Carter.

The Mendon Senior Center offers the following exercise classes: chair yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings beginning at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday offers a yoga class beginning at 9 a.m. and T'ai Chi at 10:15 a.m. The costs for the yoga and T'ai Chi classes are $35 for six weeks. Donations for chair yoga classes help defray the costs for the class and will help them to continue. However, all first classes are free. The walking group gets going on Monday mornings at 9 a.m. and stretch and flex classes are available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. For more information on the exercise classes offered at the Mendon Senior Center, call 508-478-6175. The Mendon Senior Center is located at 62 Providence Road.


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