Seaway Seniors Centre offers fitness and more

For 89 year old Aimè Lalonde (pictured), who attends the fitness program at St Lawrence Seniors Centre twice a week, it’s not only a great way to stay in good physical condition, it’s also an opportunity to spend quality time with his daughter, Gisèle, 55, who also attends the sessions. “We get stiff when we don’t get out,” says Lalonde, who says that his participation has certainly improved his flexibility, as well as his balance. Thanks to a Trillium grant which is financing the program for a year, the centre offers fitness classes twice a week, as well as Nordic walking, T’ai Chi and coming next month, Yoga. There is even a chair exercise program for those who have difficulty standing, explains personal trainer, Cathy Bourgon, who says that her classes focus on stretching, resistance, flexibility and balance. Another very important area of focus during the session is the core, she says. “Everybody has a weak back, and every physical activity you do during the day revolves around your core.” A strong core will strengthen your back and a vis versa, explains Bourgon who also teaches a nutrition class on Mondays. “The response has been tremendous,” says Els Cordell, executive director at the centre. Because participants range in age between 47 and 89, the program is geared to varied levels of fitness. “You work at your own level,” explains Cordell. People with all kinds of medical issues can benefit from physical activity, from those recovering form surgery, to chronic pain from arthritis or fibromyalgia, she says. Along with the obvious physical benefit of the activities at the centre, both Cordell and Bourdon agree that they offer valuable social benefits. “It gets them up, out, and at it, and (gives) people to talk to,” says Cordell. “There’s a real camaraderie here.” For further information about the full schedule of events offered at the Seaway Seniors Centre call 613-932-4969. Photo by Roxanne Delage

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