National Senior Health and Fitness Day

DSC_0573By Amanda Moses

Compression leggings, sweat resistant tank tops, and running sneakers were the style of choice during the Brooklyn Sports Club’s (BSC) annual National Senior Health and Fitness Day. On May 31st, men and women over 50 years old were given free access to the fitness facility. This celebration is the largest national event that focuses on helping older adults maintain physical activity, promote nutritional diets, and showcases local organizations’ efforts in improving health in the community.

“National Senior Health and Fitness Day is held every year on the last Wednesday in May. We like to participate because it gives us an opportunity to do something special for our senior members and guests. Throughout the year, we offer exercise classes that they can take, but this event includes additional information that can help them in their daily lives. It’s also a nice way for them to get together and spend some time socializing,” said BSC Executive Director, Matthew Cofrancesco.

The BSC event was a female powerhouse filled with strong, active senior women like Marian Page, who dominated the exercise classes. Page began her day with dozens of seniors enjoying a cup of coffee with friends during the early morning registration and then posed for a group photo. “I look forward to Senior Health and Fitness Day because I get to workout with my friends from JASA and Spring Creek Senior Partners,” she said.

After an hour of mingling with other participants, Page headed off to “Burn and Firm” with Alicia Rosenberg. The class was filled with determined women, some first time guests at the BSC, ready to break a sweat while using a step workout board. Like many fast-paced exercise classes, Rosenberg’s cardio sessions was accompanied by thumping dance music that reverberated into your core, motivating you to move faster with the beat.

For some seniors, rapid physical activity is extremely difficult. In light of this problem, the BSC hosted “Body Toning” with instructor Mary Lou Illuzzi. A handful of women placed yoga mats on the floor and prepared for Illuzzi’s calm and soft instructions to stretch and move their bodies in a way that strengthens the muscles. Her class played rainforest-like tunes that gave you both a physical and outer body workout session.

The last two classes during the Senior Health and Fitness Day event were both instructed by Rosenberg: “Cycling” and “Stretch Class.” These two sessions were extremely different. Cycling focused on rapid bursts of cardio movement, while the stretching class concentrated on extending muscles in specific positions for several minutes at a time. The diverse classes offered at BSC showed seniors that it doesn’t matter their age or exercise skill level; it’s all about picking the activities that suit their bodies the best.

“We are fortunate that we have a large number of active adults that come to the club. It gives the club a nice mix of people, from parents with young kids to college students, working adults as well as those who are retired. It certainly adds to the sense of community and makes us so much more than just a health club,” said Cofrancesco.

In addition to the various classes, local organizations provided healthier living information booths, such as Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center (Dr. Pimsler was invited to discuss geriatric services with attendees), Spring Creek Senior Partners (distributed wellness pamphlets and offered free blood pressure screenings), New York Life (offered information packets about retirement and life-insurance) and BSC instructor Debbie Ann Schneider spoke about her inspiring workbook entitled The 21 Days, 10 Minutes A Day Healthier Life.

Senior Health and Fitness Day at the BSC was jam-packed with inquisitive older adults who were eager to learn more about healthier living