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
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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