Meet demands for fun programming with new equipment, props and the great outdoors.
Healthways’ SilverSneakers fitness program has introduced YogaStretch and SilverSplash to help add variety to older-adult programming. The former uses a chair for support as participants work at their own pace to build flexibility and endurance, while learning to relax and think more clearly. The latter uses “the physical properties of water to help older adults increase their agility, range of movement and cardiovascular conditioning.”
IDEA member Meredith Nelson, MEd, created Survival School to meet participant demands after completing an intense, monthlong boot camp class (5 days per week) at Prime Time Fitness, Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. “Our members didn’t want to lose their momentum and scale back the intensity of their workouts,” Nelson says. To meet their needs, Nelson created the outdoor, 3-day-per-week program to be challenging and varied. “The hardcore workouts focused on a different aspect of training each day,” she says. “Speed and agility day included dynamic warm-ups, ladder drills, etc. Our day of strength was dedicated to body weight exercises such as lunges, push-ups, pull-ups and core training. We incorporated power moves and plyometrics into our third weekly workout. Survival School continued until the cold weather drove us back indoors, but members are already asking for its return!”
Step class became popular again at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville, California, with the addition of Fitstix Step to the schedule. “The Fitstix are 1-pound, bead-filled sticks that keep the rhythm of the music as you shake them,” says IDEA member and group exercise director Ann Vezey. “It’s the velocity of the beads moving from one end of the Fitstix to the other that makes the sticks so amazing for the upper body. The workout appeals to all levels, and we are seeing new participants in our classes. Our advanced students enjoy the added intensity, and the rhythm of the Fitstix actually makes the moves easier to learn for newer participants. We have seen a 50% increase in step-class participation since adding the program. It’s great to see steppers using their arms again.”
IDEA member Rachel Holmes says that Chair Dancing is a big hit in her Nottingham, England, studio. According to Holmes, the class mixes “traditional burlesque with MTV.” Participants learn fun ways to move while challenging their bodies, all while using a standard chair.
SIDEBAR: Star Students
Do you have a regular participant who makes it easy for you to want to roll out of bed at 5:00 am to teach boot camp? Is there someone in one of your classes you think deserves special mention? A gold star? E-mail, write or fax us, detailing why your student is exceptional (see contact details). We’ll be highlighting stars in future issues.
SIDEBAR: Sharing the Buzz
Have you heard of a creative new class? Drop us a line and share the buzz. Send an e-mail, a letter or a fax detailing the class. We’ll be publishing your ideas in upcoming issues.
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