It’s 11:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and nearly a dozen seniors at the Fumo Family Library are stretching, strengthening, and sweating to Funk, Disco, and Soul tunes.
While it’s not unusual to see seniors at the library engaging in weekly Chair Yoga and Tai Chi classes, this is a new multi-part series funded by Healthy Communities. Healthy Communities is a partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly program. They support a community-based approach to improving health across Philadelphia.
The Senior Strength Training program, filled to capacity on this day, is enthusiastically led by Lee Scottlorde, a personal trainer. The group started by marching in place, to increase heart rates. They also worked on balance, core, and cardio during the hour-long session.
"I can feel my muscles starting to shake", said Carmella, one of the participants after working out with weights. "That’s great!" said Scottlorde. "It means it's starting to work."
Senior strength training is of paramount importance, according to Scottlorde. "Core exercises for elderly individuals help set a foundation to improve balance, posture, and reduce back pain. Developing a strong core and increasing balance allows individuals to keep their independence through lessening their fall risk," she stated.
And the participant's reaction? "I loved it," said Joanne. Carmella said she will definitely be back and Loretta noted that the class was "very invigorating." Meanwhile, Veronica can’t wait till next week. "Lee made us all feel comfortable," she said.
As for Stocklorde, she is happy that the group is energized and is excited to continue to work with them over the next five weeks.
Healthy Communities provided snacks and water after the sessions. In the coming weeks, Fumo Library is excited to lend out home gym kits to patrons, courtesy of Health Communities.
The Senior Strength Training program is currently filled, but you can still sign up for a waitlist spot. For more information, please contact Fumo Family Library at 215-685-1758.