ShareThis Page

Bridgeville, Carnegie area groups help seniors stay active during winter months

| Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, 2:27 a.m.

Maintaining a wintertime exercise regimen can be tough, but when it gets cold outside, senior citizens warm up at local libraries, gyms and community centers.

The South Hills branch of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh participates in both SilverSneakers and Silver&Fit, fitness programs that give Medicare-age people free access to participating gyms and other health-minded businesses.

The Jewish Community Center offers 36 classes each week specifically designed for older adults that focus on arthritis, tai chi, Parkinson's wellness recovery, yoga and aquatics. Each class is large enough for 42 participants.

Most of the classes are available to Jewish Community Center members at no charge.

The facility, built in 1999, boasts a 25-yard, six-lane heated indoor swimming pool and a double-court gym.

Elaine Cappucci, director of health and wellness, encourages seniors to move as much as they can.

“Try to avoid sitting for long periods. Take walk breaks around your house,” she says. “See if there is a neighbor, friend or relative who also wants to get out and can take you — if they have SilverSneakers or Silver&Fit, you could join the JCC together.”

For folks who want to stay fit without leaving their seat, many libraries and businesses offer chair exercises.

Angelina Levy, public relations coordinator at the Scott Township Public Library, says the branch's sole senior fitness program, Chair Exercises for Seniors, runs all year and is very well attended. The free series runs on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Chair-based classes are popular at Fritz Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Bridgeville. Owner and lead physical therapist Brian Fritz says muscle strength is what makes or breaks a person in their later years.

“The more active you can stay, the better off you'll be,” says Fritz, who works with five or six seniors every day who want to improve their mobility.

Held twice a week — on Wednesdays from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and Fridays from 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. — his SilverSneakers sessions focus on increasing strength, range of motion and balance. Fritz and his staff typically see five to 15 seniors in the classes. And although there are a few die-hards who show up to each one, attendance drops off dramatically in the winter.

Fritz has advice for homebodies.

“If you're stuck in the house, tackle those steps once or twice a day,” he says. “Look in the community because there are resources available. Find some friends who will join you and encourage you to go.

Kristy Locklin is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me