This group of seniors considers themselves “Pam's family.” Sitting around a Kunjani Coffee House table March 3, the group of about a dozen seniors told how they came to meet each other. Most of …
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This group of seniors considers themselves “Pam's family.”
Sitting around a Kunjani Coffee House table March 3, the group of about a dozen seniors told how they came to meet each other. Most of them met through a movement class at the Parker Recreation Center taught by Pam Kilduff. They have grown so close they consider themselves a family.
“These people inspire me,” Kilduff said.
Kilduff has fostered a community of active seniors at the Parker Recreation Center. After each session, the group, plus Kilduff, go out for coffee and chat. Being active has become an avenue, sometimes the only one, for seniors to socialize with others during the day.
Kilduff has been instructing the rec center's senior movement class for 15 years. The SilverSneakers group fitness class has gained so much popularity that the rec center announced it will begin a similar, less-intense class called Motion and Movement this summer, open to members and non-members. Now, seniors with SilverSneakers eligibility can participate in this class for free as well. For non-members, the six-week class costs $24.
SilverSneakers provides free membership to the rec center. There are SilverSneakers classes for cardio and yoga as well as a more classic workout. The program is first-come, first-serve with a maximum of 25 people per class. They've become so popular that if you don't arrive early, you might not get in at all.
About 45% of the rec center's memberships are over the age of 62.
“This might be the only time they get to get out of the house to socialize. They spend almost four hours here, either downstairs on the lobby talking to friends, in a class or on the recumbent bike,” said Deni Jacobs, Parker Parks and Rec therapeutic/senior coordinator.
The new Motion and Movement class is less intense. It is modified depending on who shows up. Whether a participant has shoulder or knee issues, three trainers are on standby to help get the most out of their workouts. The class used to be tailored toward sufferers of Parkinson's disease, though being diagnosed is not a requirement, The class has grown popular because of how personalized it is.
The class will be open to drop-ins, who don't sign up at the beginning of the class, beginning in May.
“This makes it as easy as possible, bring people into this comfortable, safe environment so they can exercise at a level that is safe and comfortable to them,” Jacobs said.
These seniors want an active lifestyle. Some of them feel they don't fit in some of the senior community centers. So, this group, through Kilduff, found each other. When the rec center is closed on workout days, they will meet up for a field trip at places like the Miller Activity Center incline in Castle Rock.
The group, mostly women, got into the program for one reason or another. The general mantra they draw back to is “move it or lose it,” meaning when you reach a certain age it becomes paramount to exercise regularly to maintain muscle growth.
Dorothy Oxborrow is 90 and has been active all her life. She said she enjoys the classes because it makes a person feel better, helps the brain and it's a chance to socialize. What keeps her going, she joked, is because she doesn't want to get old.
“It's such a big part of my life. I couldn't imagine not doing it,” Oxborrow said. “Everybody gets to know everybody and it makes exercising more fun.”
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