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Getting the move on for seniors

There is plenty of energy in the room when a bunch of Flaxmere’s seniors get together for their Strength and Balance classes twice a week.📷

From a small start seven months ago the classes now attract up to 35 a time. And that does not count the seniors turning up to the ‘Sit and be Fit’ classes, the Line Dancing sessions, or the Tai Chi classes.

“They are loving it,” says centre manager Ana McClutchie.

The Strength and Balance classes, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Flaxmere Community Centre, are definitely fun, but they also have an important role to play. “At the core of it is fall prevention. As we get older, and especially if we are not as active as we used to be, falls can become a real hazard,” says Ana.

To address that, the classes are designed to improve co-ordination, balance and stability, as well as give the cardio-vascular, respiratory and muscle systems a work-out.

The music crosses the ages too, with instructor Awhi Kenrick putting together a music set specially for her 55-year plus audience, mixing songs from the 60s and 70s with newer “funky music with flavour and soul”.

The Sit and be Fit classes are designed for the less able, for whom it is just as important to be as mobile as possible, says Ana.

“It’s suitable for anyone – we have people on walkers, with shoulder injuries, on mobility scooters. It’s probably more of a toning class, focused on big movements, particularly the upper body and shoulders.”

The Tai Chi classes are held once a week, run by Eana Young, a Sport Hawke’s Bay instructor specialising in the art. Eana says Tai Chi is one of the most effective exercises for physical and mental well-being, strengthening and mobilising joints and muscles while improving physical fitness and mental concentration.

For more information call in at the Flaxmere Community Centre.


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