Nonprofit Profile

Exercise class improves flexibility, balance

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Helen Warren leads the senior citizens exercise class at the Shawano Civic Center. Those who attended a recent class are, front row, from left, Gail Moesch, Mary Vanderpoel, Betty Szucs, Jean Brockman, Warren, Nancy Theis, Karen Grover, and Irma Arendt; back row, Carol Soufal, Karen Boardman, Barb Bubolz, Diane Owen, Beverly Schultz, Karen Pieper, Connie Slewinski, Donna Wilson, Carol Schoenhofen and Vicki Hanauer.

It’s the time of year when some people think about ways to improve their lives.

The senior citizens exercise class at the Shawano Civic Center is a way for people to improve their flexibility and balance. There is another benefit, too.

“We do a lot of laughing,” said class leader Helen Warren. “Mostly they laugh at me.”

She said there are ladies in their 80s and 90s who come to the class, which is open to anyone. Some of the ladies with canes stand next to a chair or sit in the chair while exercising.

“It’s fun to watch,” Warren said.

Someone new who is just starting out doesn’t need to do the aerobic part, and you can come to a class and see if you like it before you join. Men are always welcome to participate.

They start with warm-ups and then work on strength, flexibility, and balance. They use hula hoops, balls, weights, and noodles to keep the class interesting. Warren said she keeps track of the steps and they put in about a mile every half-hour. She doesn’t have any special routines.

“I mix it up and keep it interesting,” she said.

People can work at their own speed and ability. A 92-year-old lady told her, ”You know this is the only thing that’s keeping me alive.”

The cost is $12 per year with class Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The class is downstairs, and there is an elevator for those who need it.

Warren said the people like the music to be peppy.

‘I get my energy from the class,” Warren said. “ It keeps me going.”

After class many of them go upstairs to have coffee.

The Civic Center is at 225 S. Main St., Shawano.