Seniors warming up to new exercise, strength program


April 01, 1999|By Diane Mikulis | Diane Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SENIOR CITIZENS in our neighborhood are excited about a new exercise and strength training program designed for them at Triumph Health and Fitness Center.

Margaret Smith, a class participant, is an advocate for exercise at any age. "Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself, especially as you age," she said.

She noted cardiac benefits, prevention of osteoporosis and mental health benefits as some of the reasons for undertaking a fitness program.

Smith is one of 14 people enrolled in the program, which is held in association with Western Howard County Senior Center. The class meets from 2: 30 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

Susan Kain, Triumph's owner and a personal trainer, has designed a program for participants based on their goals and physical abilities.

Everyone begins with a five-minute warm-up on one of the cardio machines -- Stairmaster, treadmill or stationary bicycle.

Activity moves to the weight machines, where participants can exercise muscle groups.

Next comes a more intense cardiac workout on the machine of the participant's choosing, and finally some abdominal exercises and stretching.

"I worked with each person individually the first time," Kain said. Now armed with their customized programs, seniors work on their own, although Kain is available to assist.

Each person has a strength training log sheet that lists the equipment and weights and number of repetitions to be performed. Participants record their activity and decide when to increase the weights or repetitions.

Bernie Mazer says that in a few weeks, he has increased the weights and repetitions, even doubling some. "You can just feel your strength building up," he said.

Mazer had originally enrolled to improve his golf game. He frequently plays with his 15-year-old grandson and said he has felt inadequate. He is anxious to get out on the links and use his newly developed strength.

John Finnamore said he has noticed a difference in the way he feels since he began training. He has lost 5 pounds, although weight loss was not his goal.

"This is my first time in a fitness program, and I enjoy it," he said.

Fitch Jeffries, the oldest participant at 91, said that before entering the program he had problems with balance and knew he wasn't getting enough exercise. After a few weeks in training, he noticed improvements.

"I can walk straight and have no more problems with balance," he said.

Kain has worked with senior citizens for the past six years. She has run fitness programs at the senior center, and when she opened Triumph in November, decided to hold classes there.

"The facilities are great, and Susan is super," said Deanna McGunigal. She likes the stretching workout that Kain leads at the end of each session.

Don and Jane Hardesty had participated in Kain's class at the senior center and decided to try the class at Triumph.

Don Hardesty explained that he has a blocked artery and doesn't get sufficient oxygen in his legs. Since working out, he has noticed that his legs are much stronger.

On a recent trip to a nature conservatory, he found that "to my amazement and delight, I could walk all over."

His wife added that she, too, feels stronger and is able to walk farther in less time. "It's good to keep these old bones moving," she said, laughing.

Triumph is in the Circle D Club Building at 15535 Carrs Mill Road in Woodbine.

Information: 410-489-2901.

Glenelg's winners

Glenelg High School Principal Linda Wise reports some outstanding student accomplishments in March.

The girls' basketball team won the Class 1A State Championship.

"This is the first time in Glenelg history that we've won a state basketball championship, either girls or boys," Wise said.

The drill team, which holds the state championship for pompom routines, placed second in the state for kick routines.

"And the school band scored all `ones' in the Howard County Band Festival," said Wise. "This is the 22nd year in a row the band has earned perfect scores."

Fair scholarships

Four western Howard County students have received scholarships from the Howard County Fair Association Inc. Each scholarship is for $1,000. The winners participated in last year's county fair and have held leadership positions in their 4-H clubs.

Adrianne Bushling, 24, of Clarksville is a computer support technology major at Howard Community College. A member of the Spur and Stirrup 4-H Club, she served on the State Horse Council and represented Maryland at National 4-H competitions.

Her parents are Darryl-Ann and Robert Dale Bushling.

April Jackson, 18, is a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in education. She has been a member of the Poplar 4-H Club for 11 years and served as the county chairwoman of Fashion Revue and State Teen Focus Board member.

She lives in Woodbine with her mother, Hope.

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