Senior Stretch began last autumn to help prevent falls through strengthening muscles and bones, as one out of three over age 65 falls in a given year. The class has turned out to be so much more—incorporating social, intellectual, spiritual, as well as physical aspects of our lives. We’ve all made new friends and two attendees reconnected after 45 years.
We’ve shared new experiences, such as eating Jack Fruit for the first time, as well as sharing health related information. One participant had attended Sunday services only and is now participating in other church activities and will soon join the church. Another has found gardening easier after our stretches. One came with a “frozen” shoulder, but can now get her arms over her head. C.K. found the exercises helped prepare her for total knee replacement and influenced the healing and strengthening afterward, amazing her doctors at how well she did. C.F. says she feels better when she leaves than before the class. One with neuropathy finds the class helps with balance and awareness of her surroundings. J.F. comes to stretch even after her physical therapy session. We all stand taller and walk straighter than when we began in the fall.
We started out small in number, grew to fill the room, but we function as a “small group” in that we not only exercise, but also include devotions and prayers for each other and our loved ones.
Bev sums it up: “How has Senior Stretch helped me? Let me count the ways! After two bad falls and spine surgery, the doctors recommended exercise, which didn’t happen regularly until Senior Stretch helped me be more fit and active again. Not only did the exercises help gain strength and confidence, I was with others in similar situations.
We encourage each other, extend our new friendships beyond class, and the prayer and devotions give our spiritual life a good workout also.”
The original acronym Senior Stretch was FEBS, for Flexibility, Endurance, Balance, and Strength, but by the end of the year it also stood for Fabulous, Engaging, Beautiful Sisters in exercise!
Come join us in September.
*Although Senior Stretch consisted of women this year, men are welcome to join as well. See you in the fall!