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Silver Sneakers exercise program now offered at Westside Community Center


In a recent Silver Sneaker Classic class in the Westside Community Center gym, participants follow the direction of instructor Rebecca Janecek (see photo at lower right of this page).
Westside Pioneer photo
       If you're 65 or over and looking for creative ways to get a workout, a new opportunity has arrived at the Westside Community Center.
       It's called Silver Sneakers Classic, a fitness program developed by the international Healthways company. Classes are open to as many as 30 people in the center's gym and are scheduled Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m.

Rebecca Janecek leads a Silver Sneakers class from the stage of the Westside Community Center gym.
Westside Pioneer photo
       The Community Center classes, which started in April, are taught by Rebecca Janecek, a retired criminal justice employee and social worker who's been teaching fitness classes in the area for the past seven years.
       As described on the Silver Sneakers website, participants “move to the music through a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living.”
       The cost can be free, depending on a person's health insurance coverage. If not, the center charges $5 a session.
       That's a better deal than that outlined on the Silver Sneakers website. According to that source, the classes are typically offered through a fitness club in which non-covered participants have to be a member. The Community Center, at 1628 W. Bijou St., has no membership requirements; people wanting to take a Silver Sneakers class are just asked to come in 15 minutes early to register.
       Janecek teaches at various locations in the region, including the YMCA, clubs and churches, but the Westside resident likes the Community Center set-up, where she can be up on the gym stage and get a good view of everyone in her class. "It's a nice, big room, a wonderful location for the program," she said.
       An hour-long session starts with movement warm-ups, then goes on to include the use of hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles and a ball for resistance. "The idea is to work with the joints, every major muscle group and some of the smaller ones," Janecek explained.
       But she also knows that everyone's body is different and cautions participants to "listen to your body. If there's any sharp pain, I want you to stop and don't do that motion today."
       Chairs are available at the classes for anyone needing seated or standing support.
       Not surprisingly, Janecek is a big advocate of exercise. "As we age, issues of balance, muscle mass, bone density, flexibility, coordination progress so much more slowly if we exercise at least three times a week."
       The classes have a social aspect too. My motto is, "get fit, have fun, make friends," Janecek said.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 5/14/14; Community: Westside Community Center)

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