‘With movement…there’s improvement!’

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By Sarah von Sternberg

Los Alamos County partnered with the Los Alamos Senior Centers and Los Alamos Retirement Community to celebrate the 24th annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day May 31, which focused on showcasing what local groups are doing to help keep seniors healthy and fit. 


Seniors were encouraged to take advantage of the dance, music and fitness classes offered at the Betty Erhart Senior Center, White Rock Senior Center and Aquatic Center.

Many business offered discounts for seniors that day. East Park putt putt offered buy one set of putter and balls and get one set free. For those interested in real gold, the Los Alamos Golf Course offered 50 percent off for the driving range, nine or 18 holes.

At Aspen Ridge, a few residents celebrated Senior Fitness Day by taking a walk to the nearby East Park. David Genth, Jenny Reichelt, Helen Benso, Korky Cockburn and John Bradley were in attendance for their walk that brisk morning.
Reichelt commented on her experience at Aspen. “The food’s good and the people are lovely,” she said.

One of the walkers, Korky Cockburn, moved from Arizona and has lived in Los Alamos only a few months. She said she understands the importance of physical exercise. “I do this walk at least twice a day,” she said.
Cockburn might also bring a book along and read at the park for a while.

Ninty-year-old John Bradley enjoyed the walk alongside Marketing and Community Liaison Cynthia Goldblatt. Bradley goes swimming three times a week in the therapy pool at the Aquatic Center. He described it as an hour-long class where they are taken through various exercises to help get back to proper physical condition.
“I’m a faller and I have problems with my muscles, so it’s a really nice program that they have over there,” remarked Bradley.

When asked about how he likes Aspen Ridge, Bradley said, “This is a wonderful place out here. It really takes care of us.”

The rehabilitation swimming class at the Aquatic Center hosted about 15 participants Wednesday morning, including swimming instructor Eileen Tobey. While each senior swimmer had their own personal reasons for attending the therapy class, the entire class enthusiastically participated in the exercises. 

A recommendation from a physical therapist is what brought Peggy Jenkins to the therapy class after she had her hip replaced. Jenkins said the water is warm and, “Everybody gets something out of it.” She retired from the Los Alamos School District in June 2015. Her piece of advice is to “stay in shape” and exercise all the time, a perfect reminder on Senior Health and Fitness Day.

C.J. Buckner, who has been attending the swimming class for the past six years, also celebrated Senior Fitness Day by walking with friends outside and attending a Tai Ji Quan class at the White Rock Senior Center.