Many women in Malvern “have it going on” this year! They are participating in the LIFT program, a research program to improve strength and balance among seniors. It also measures whether exercising with a group increases attendance among members. So far, the group has twelve very enthusiastic members.
The program, which runs for eight weeks, is being led by Clare Lillard, extension agent from Orange who also serves Madison and Culpeper counties. It meets every Tuesday and Thursday in the clubhouse annex.
Research has shown that falls are the number one cause of death and injuries among the older population(approximately 9,500 deaths last year),and that the risk of falling increases proportionately with age. LIFT presents exercises that increase ones sense of balance. It also shows that seniors need strength training more and more as they grow older to stay mobile for their daily activities. The LIFT program combats age related declines in muscle mass, bone density and metabolism by using and increasing arm and leg weights as the weeks go on.
The LIFT program encourages comraderie by having groups choose a name. The Malvern women chose Rowdy Overcomers(ROC) for their name. They will ROC on to overcome problems all seniors experience as they age.
This past winter, another group of women attended Zumba Classes. This program uses aerobic exercises to improve one’s heart, lungs and endurance. Participants dance, led by instructors, to various types of music—a fun way to get exercise.
This program was started by Diana Wright, who felt that having exercise groups in the community would save money and time for exercisers. Diana was instrumental in getting a place to conduct the sessions, a room in the clubhouse annex. It was cleaned up, painted and equipped with a music system. There were eight to ten women taking part in Zumba every week. Ole!
In a few months, the women will, once again, become “The Girls of Summer”. The pool will be the area for exercise as they commence the water aerobics program.
So, members of Malvern, if you want to stay healthy and fit, come join one or all of the groups. You will meet old and new friends and have fun growing fit together.
Pat Kaplon and Diana Wright