■ BY SUE ERWIN
The Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center is partnering up with Sky Family YMCA to offer exercise sessions for residents beginning on Tuesdays and Thursdays, October 24 through January 25. The cost to attend is $65 per month.
“Moving for Better Balance,” a one hour class led by YMCA trained instructor Tricia Hamann, will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Boca Grande Community Center. The program will runs for 12 weeks.
Hamann taught the course over the summer and had a great response from residents.
“One community member who took the class was extremely happy with the results and asked when the classes were starting up again,” Hamann said.
The course is an evidence-based falls prevention program recognized by the CDC, National Council on Aging and the Department of Health and Human Services. The principles and movements of Tai Chi are used to help older adults increase their strength, improve their balance and increase their confidence in doing everyday activities.
Hamann asks that all participants commit to attending the classes for 12 consecutive weeks to maximize the effectiveness of the program.
“Class members are expected to practice at home for a certain amount of minutes per week, so there is homework involved,” Hamann said. “After 12 weeks, they should feel a huge difference in their balance and stability.”
The instructor will do a pre-and-post-class assessment of each participant to fully understand their individual balance and comfort levels.
Hamann said the program is not only a physical workout but it also helps participants become more focused on daily activities.
She’ll also be leading two other exercise programs this season.
“Active & Ageless Cardio” is a more vigorous aerobics class that increases upper-body strength, abdominal conditioning, stretching and relaxation exercises designed to energize an active lifestyle. This course will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. starting October 31.
“Strength & Flexibility for Daily Living” is designed to increase muscular strength, range of movement and activities for daily living. A chair is available if needed to assist with standing support or if class members are more comfortable sitting.
“Parkinson’s Exercise Program” will be starting on October 30. Two sessions will be offered each week on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration is required for this class and a wellness packet is required with a signed doctor’s release. The class will focus on improving Parkinson’s symptoms in a positive, atmosphere using chairs, bells, bands and light hand weights. Functional exercises such as finger dexterity, ball toss, and sit-to-stand are included to help enhance daily living activities and reduce risk of injury. This is a new program being offered for the first time on the island.
“We’re trying our best to help residents achieve a better quality of live through movement and exercise,” Hamann said.
Debbie Frank, program director at Friends of Boca Grande, said the new courses are a result of community member requests to offer more activities designed to benefit the residents.
“We want residents to know that we’re listening when they make suggestions or have ideas – that’s why we’re here – to provide them with a variety of activities that fit their lifestyles,” Frank said. “Through this partnership, Friends of Boca Grande is excited about the range of fitness programs that may become available at the community center this coming season.”
To register or for more information, call the Friends of Boca Grande at 941-964-0827 or stop in the office at 131 First Street West.