As we get older, staying active remains important, and an upcoming workshop targets this need, said Donna Krug, family and consumer science agent and district director for the Cottonwood Extension District – Great Bend Office.
Stay Strong, Stay Healthy is designed to increase an aging adult’s access to a safe, structured, and effective strength training program, Krug said. “Participants are made to feel comfortable regardless of their current fitness level so they can safely participate and gradually build the strength beneficial to health.”
Over eight weeks, participants learn exercises to improve their strength, flexibility, and balance. During each session, a prescribed set of eight upper and lower body strengthening exercises are done along with warm-ups and cool-down stretches.
The program begins Tuesday, Jan. 16, and ends Tuesday, March 20. It meets from 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Great Bend Activity Center, 2715 18th Street. The registration fee is $20 and may be paid at the Barton County Extension Office by Monday, Jan. 8.
“I received training in 2015 to be a certified Stay Strong, Stay Healthy instructor,” Krug said. In the past two years, she has led five workshops reaching a total of 73 participants.
“There are several reasons people give for not doing strengthening exercises like fear of injuring themselves and no experience with lifting weights,” she said. “I work with participants to complete a pre and post fitness assessment and have noticed increased strength, improved balance and flexibility as well as overall positive attitudes toward staying active.”
Krug refers to a comment made by one of her former students: “You know, my legs have quit hurting at night and this (the exercises) is the only thing I am doing differently. I’m so happy.”
“The Stay Strong Stay Healthy workshop provides a safe, welcoming environment where groups of older adults can learn how to strengthen their muscles,” Krug said.
In December 2015, three regional SSSH instructor certification trainings were conducted resulting in 57 extension professionals being
certified. In November 2016, an additional eight extension professionals were certified.
Since March 2016, local FCS agents have provided 40 SSSH sessions resulting in over 640 classes involving an estimated 400 participants state wide.
The class size is limited so Krug advises people enroll soon by calling her Cottonwood Extension District – Great Bend Office at 620-793-1910.