Thursday, May 31, 2012
By popular demand, Bachman Community Center will soon begin offering a chair exercise class for seniors. The class will be held Thursdays at 4:30 p.m., with a free trial class set for June 7.
Instructor Elise Baker said the class is adaptable to all fitness levels. The gentle exercise regimen is done standing up for about half the class as participants use a chair for balance, while the rest of the exercises are seated.
“Even those who are chair-bound can do a lot of stuff sitting down,” she said. “Hopefully they will get strong enough to do some standing in the future.”
The workout begins with a five-minute warm-up followed by 20 minutes of balance and muscle strength training, concluding with five to seven minutes of stretching to maintain flexibility.
Baker said the biggest change she has noticed in her students is an increase in coordination and balance.
“A lot of seniors’ biggest concern is balance, because they’ve lost a lot of core strength,” she said.
Baker has a bachelor’s in exercise science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has been an exercise physiologist at Alexian Village for two years. She teaches three to four classes a day at Alexian and also offers in-home personal training sessions for seniors.
“I’ve always had a calling for seniors,” said Baker, who became interested in exercise physiology while in high school and working as an inpatient physical therapy tech.
There she noticed seniors who worked on their muscle strength, coordination and balance not only felt better, but could more easily perform everyday tasks.
“The older they get, the more balance they lose,” said Baker. “I feel like it makes a difference.”
After the June 7 class, all classes are $8 each. Discount package deals are also available, such as four classes for $20 or eight classes for $40.
Stretch it out
Bachman Community Center is at 2815 Anderson Pike and can be reached at 886-4842.