Fitness Classes Cater to Elderly

Fitness Classes Cater to Elderly

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Brooke Walker Reporting It's time to start thinking about those New Year's Resolutions and if your resolution is to hit the gym, you're not alone. Every January millions of people set the same goal, to get in shape. This year a different generation is taking on the treadmill and working the weights.

At first glance, it looks like just a normal aerobics class with weights and music, but a closer listen and a closer look reveals this group’s abnormal age.

"I'm 65."

"I'm 70 years old."

They’re not surprising numbers these days. Local gyms and fitness centers report more seniors are working out than ever before.

Teri Thompson, Fitness Instructor: "The word is out and they know how important it is for their health. And they see such great benefits, it speaks for itself."

At CrossRoads Fitness in Ogden, one class caters to that trend. It's called Silver Sneakers -- the participant's average age is 75 years young.

Ellie Thompson, Works out at 70: "Hey, look here (shows muscle). It has, emotionally, mentally, it just makes me feel younger."

The class focuses on basic motions and exercises that will help seniors in every day life. The majority of the class happens while sitting down. Participants isolate various muscle groups that many people neglect as age starts to set in. Research shows regular exercise can actually slow the aging process, helping to increase muscle mass and bone density.

Michelle Hendrickson, Fitness Instructor: “When they get to be this kind of age, a lot of injuries occur, so using weights will help them to prevent injuries in the long run."

But participants say physical benefits are not the only perk

"I think it's a lifesaver. Besides being physical, it's emotional. It's just an uplift. I love it."

Silver Sneaker classes are offered at fitness centers across Utah.

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