Seniors Work it Out in Free Class

Publish Date:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Category:

News Organization:

Arizona Daily Star

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Residents at Sunrise Senior Living, an assisted living home at 4975 N. First Ave., are getting free workouts twice a week from a professional trainer.

Personal trainers at Better Bodies, a fitness center with locations at 7285 E. Tanque Verde Road and 3122 N. Campbell Ave., volunteer to give free 30-minute exercise classes to the residents Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Raul Murillo, Sunrise's activities and volunteer coordinator, said that while residents exercise every morning, he wanted to find a way to get more participation.

"Every community and retirement home has exercise programs. I try to do things that other places don't do," he said.

When Murillo began searching for professional trainers to help at Sunrise Senior Living he was unsure if he would be able to get the service on a voluntary basis.

"It means a lot to me that these people are coming on their own time. They're doing something for the community and improving the quality of life for our residents," Murillo said.

Frank Greaney, a personal trainer with Better Bodies who has been leading the exercise classes, said he enjoys holding them for free.

"It's nice when you're able to give back to the community," he said.

Murillo said the exercise class is important because it increases the residents' endurance and helps many with their arthritis.

"It's very important to keep them stimulated not only mentally, but physically as well," he said.

Since Better Bodies began volunteering about two months ago, Murillo said he has seen more consistent attendance and better results with approximately 12 to 15 residents attending each workout.

"Now I'm having more people come out of their shells." he said. "The top thing is the sense of independence, thinking that they can do it on their own."

Greaney, who specializes in training the elderly, said most of the exercise moves are seated and not too difficult.

"For a lot of them here there's a lot of limitations. It's a challenging population," he said.

Resident Ellen Koehler, 96, said she enjoys the workouts because the moves aren't extremely difficult.

"These are easy ones that are applicable for 90-year-olds," she said.

Koehler said she regularly attends the classes because exercise is important to her, and everyone needs to do some type of exercise.

"I've always exercised and I'm in pretty good shape for 90," she said. "No matter what age, you should be doing exercise."

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