Testimony to exercise: Pearl River County Seniors are staying active

Published 12:46 am Sunday, March 9, 2008

From Body Recall to SilverSneakers, more and more seniors from our area are getting fit and staying active. The attitude is living longer AND living stronger.

George A. Berry is one such senior, who, after suffering several health problems, decided to take back control of his life with a healthy attitude.

Born in New Orleans, La., Berry moved to Picayune approximately 15 years ago to be closer to his sister and her children. He was living in Arkansas at the time.

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As little as three short months ago, Berry, a type two diabetic, was walking past the Bodyworks Gym, and decided to go in and have a look. At the time he was using a cane and had trouble getting in and out of chairs on his own.

At the local gym, he was told about the SilverSneakers class, sponsored by Humana, and he decided to join. That was November of 2007.

Today, Berry no longer needs his cane, and has no trouble standing on his own.

Berry said, “The class works our abs, ankles wrists and back. They even work our eyelids.” Several members of the class chimed in, “We work eyes to ankles.”

As an added benefit, Berry has also lost 10 pounds, and two inches off of his waist. He spends the off days from class practicing the chair work at home. “I feel better all the time,” said Berry.

The class is three days and a week, and is taught by two instructors. The focus is building strength, endurance, flexibility and range of motion.

Seniors who are interested in getting involved in an exercise program can explore many classes available throughout our area. In addition to SilverSneakers, there is a body recall class offered at the Senior Center as well as at the Pearl River Community College. Consult a physician before starting any exercise routines.