Local seniors learn ABCs of fitness on National Senior Fitness Day

In recognition of National Senior Fitness Day, the ABCs of local seniors (those from Anoka, Blaine and Coon Rapids senior centers) learned the ABCs of fitness (activity, brain fitness and cooking) during a celebration May 30.

Seniors reach and lean and lean some more, cooling down and stretching muscles after working arms, legs, stomachs and bottoms on National Senior Fitness Day, celebrated at Coon Rapids Senior Center May 30. Photos by Sue Austreng

Seniors reach and lean and lean some more, cooling down and stretching muscles after working arms, legs, stomachs and bottoms on National Senior Fitness Day, celebrated at Coon Rapids Senior Center May 30. Photos by Sue Austreng

Eighty folks age 55 and older gathered at the Coon Rapids Senior Center where they stretched and curled, stooped and crouched and squatted and tucked.

Beth Fraley, Jodi Blowers and Susannah Peterson, a trio of fitness instructors from Andover YMCA, demonstrated the moves and described the ways in which “small moves can make big changes.”

As she showed seniors how to tuck in their bottoms and hold a crouch position, Fraley encouraged the activity, saying, “This’ll make your butt nice, your legs strong – so you all can wear short shorts all summer long.”

The fitness instructors also led the seniors in moves to strengthen and stretch biceps and triceps. Finally, a little stomach work was done.

The A (activity) presentation ended with some stretching and a few yoga poses.

Next, “Active Aging” television show hostess Kelly Lindell gave a B (brain fitness) presentation, titled “Food for thought to make your memory strong.”

She offered “brunch for the brain” tips, which include good nutrition, socialization, mental stimulation, managing stress and physical exercise.

“The more people are active, the longer they are able to do more activity,” Lindell said.

She shared some simple ideas to increase brain power.

Beth Fraley, fitness instructor at Andover YMCA, teaches seniors “small moves to make big changes” during a National Senior Fitness Day event at the Coon Rapids Senior Center May 30.

Beth Fraley, fitness instructor at Andover YMCA, teaches seniors “small moves to make big changes” during a National Senior Fitness Day event at the Coon Rapids Senior Center May 30.

Read a book, talk back to the television, take up a new hobby, drive a different route to a common destination, do a routine activity a different way, Lindell said.

Finally, Chef Ani Loizzo, culinary director of Whole Foods Lake Calhoun, presented the C (cooking) portion of National Senior Fitness Day.

“Cooking is an activity for the body and for the brain,” Loizzo said, then listed a number of healthy foods to eat every day.

She also gave ideas to the seniors about how they can “cook once and eat multiple times.”

“If you roast a chicken you can have some for dinner and then use some in soup, make omelettes, sandwiches, salad – you cook once, eat multiple times,” Loizzo said.

She also gave tips on how to maximize money at the grocery store and shared some healthy eating tips, too.

“You’ve probably experienced many changes – changes in your body, your palate, your kitchen and the cooking space you were used to, your budget, the number of people you cook for … Even with all those changes, you can eat healthy and enjoy every meal,” Loizzo said.

The May 30 National Senior Fitness Day event is the second annual celebration staged at the Coon Rapids Senior Center.

Anoka, Blaine and Coon Rapids senior centers teamed up with Comfort Keepers and Epiphany Senior Housing to present the event and door prizes were donated by Walgreens.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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