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Stay strong, live long

A guide to resources for senior fitness around the county

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THIN LIZZIE :  San Luis Coastal Unified School District offers strength training, body conditioning, aerobic, and flexibility classes at 1500 Lizzie St. in SLO, such as this one led by Michele Vanderlinde. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • THIN LIZZIE : San Luis Coastal Unified School District offers strength training, body conditioning, aerobic, and flexibility classes at 1500 Lizzie St. in SLO, such as this one led by Michele Vanderlinde.
Stay active, seniors. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), regular exercise helps prevent or delay cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes, and dementia. It can extend longevity, ease arthritis, and prevent insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) recommends four types of exercise for seniors: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Such endurance activities as walking, dancing, tennis, and swimming aid the heart and lungs. Strength training with weights builds muscle and bone. Such practices as Tai Chi and yoga for balance and flexibility help prevent falls and keep the body limber. Fortunately, there are many fitness resources available for seniors at modest or no cost throughout SLO County.

North County

 The City of Paso Robles offers free yoga and Flexercise classes, walking groups, drop-in softball, as well as health screenings, and low-vision consultations. There also are low-cost fitness classes and swim sessions at the city indoor pool. Scholarships are available for seniors on a fixed income. Call 237-3880 or see prcity.com.

 Atascadero offers several fee-based dance and fitness classes, including yoga, tai chi, ballroom dance, and clogging. Call 461-5000 or go to atascadero.org.

 Free yoga classes are offered for adults starting at age 50 in Paso Robles, Atascadero, and Morro Bay through the Cuesta College Emeritus program. Call 546-3121 or visit communityprograms.net for the schedule.

- LEARN THE SECRETS:  A series of health lectures for seniors, Healthy Aging: Uncovering the Secrets, will take place Thursday, Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Paso Robles Senior Center, 270 Scott St., Paso Robles. The lectures include: - Fall Prevention: Keeping Your Balance and Avoiding Dizziness & Vertigo, by Steve Daillak of North County Physical Therapy; Staying Mentally Active: Avoid Depression, by - Carole Schmidt, LCSW Wilshire Community Services; and Move It or Lose It, by Sonja Glassmeyer, professor of  Kinesiology, Cal Poly. - For information call 782-8600 or 237-3880. -
  • LEARN THE SECRETS: A series of health lectures for seniors, Healthy Aging: Uncovering the Secrets, will take place Thursday, Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Paso Robles Senior Center, 270 Scott St., Paso Robles. The lectures include:


    Fall Prevention: Keeping Your Balance and Avoiding Dizziness & Vertigo, by Steve Daillak of North County Physical Therapy; Staying Mentally Active: Avoid Depression, by Carole Schmidt, LCSW Wilshire Community Services; and Move It or Lose It, by Sonja Glassmeyer, professor of Kinesiology, Cal Poly. For information call 782-8600 or 237-3880.

North Coast

 Morro Bay provides free strength and movement classes and arthritis exercise classes, as well as such fee-based activities as ballroom and belly dancing. Zumba, a movement class that uses light weights to increase endurance and muscle strength, is also offered. Call 772-6278 or go to morro-bay.ca.us for details.

 The South Bay Community Center in Los Osos offers low-cost Zumba and folk dancing classes. They also host a Senior Nutrition Lunch and free health clinic. For more information, call 528-4169 or see southbaycommunitycenter.com.

 In Cambria, the Joslyn Recreation Center offers low-cost Stretchercize classes, as well as a Table Tennis Club and a Couples Dance Club. Membership is required but the fee is small. See joslynrec.org for details or call 927-3364.

 The Cayucos Senior Center hosts weekly low-cost Tai Chi classes. Call 995-3543 for information.

San Luis Obispo

 Cuesta College offers several aqua fitness classes, including Aquakinetics, which is a series of exercises to increase range of motion and flexibility. According to Cuesta, this is an excellent class for seniors and others who have arthritis. Lap swim sessions are also available. Adults 62 years and older, receive a 10 percent discount. Call 546-3232 or go to communityprograms.net for more information.

The city of San Luis Obispo has many fitness activities for “boomers” and seniors including aquatics, gentle exercise, golf, volleyball, softball, horseshoes, table tennis, ranger-led hikes, and a walking group. A series of free health and wellness seminars geared to older adults continues through May. Registration is required. For information about any of the programs, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 781-7282 or go to slocity.org.

 The San Luis Coastal Unified School District offers several types of yoga, tai chi, strength training, body conditioning, aerobic, and flexibility/balancing classes at 1500 Lizzie Street. In addition, there are special classes for older adults at various senior facilities in the community. For more information, call 549-1222 or visit ae.slcusd.org.

 The SLO YMCA offers Aqua Aerobics, yoga, and muscle strength, stretch, and balance classes. They have been approved as an “Age-Friendly Fitness and Wellness Facility” by the International Council on Active Aging, and are partners of the Silver Sneakers Program, which includes a free fitness center membership with access to classes, exercise equipment, pool, sauna and more. For details, call 543-8235 or go to sloymca.org.

South County

 The Avila Beach Community Center offers low-cost yoga, strength training, body toning, and tai chi classes for seniors. Call 627-1997 or go to avilabeachcc.com for details. All ages can enjoy walking or biking on the Bob Jones Trail, which begins at Ontario Road and ends at Avila Beach. For more information, see avilabeach.com.

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  The City of Pismo Beach offers arthritis exercise classes, tai chi, tennis, and several types of dance classes, as well as health and wellness seminars. Call 773-7063 or download an activity guide at pismobeach.org. To join the Pismo Beach Walking Club, call 489-9777.

 The Lucia Mar Unified School District Adult Education School offers wellness seminars and fitness classes in Arroyo Grande, Oceano, and Nipomo. Classes include Tai Chi, qigong, Pilates, yoga, Fit Over 50, and exercises for people with arthritis and other limitations. They even offer a brain exercise class with body movements. Call 474-3900 for details or go to adulted.lmusd.org.

 The Central Coast Senior Center in Oceano offers weekly yoga and line dancing classes for a small fee. Call 481-7886 for information. The Nipomo Senior Center offers a free fitness program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Call 929-1516 for details.

Freelance contributor Cathe Olson is the author of several natural foods cookbooks. For information on healthful eating and fitness, check out her blog at catheolson.blogspot.com.

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