Seniors discover fun way to stay fit

Published 9:39 pm Friday, October 30, 2009

Folks at the Montevallo Senior Center are excited on Wednesdays. That’s the day Leslie Hall comes to lead them in an exercise class that they really enjoy.

“Every time we finish up our sessions, most thank me numerous times,” said Hall. “They constantly have smiles on their faces, and that keeps me going more than anything. They let me know how much better they feel and how they look forward to the class every week.”

Hall is a kinesiology major at the University of Montevallo.

“My internship requires a project during the semester,” she said. “Dr. Miller-Kirby came up with this idea and asked me if I was interested. Not only is it good experience, but it involves something I am passionate about. I have been very shocked at the interest the seniors show. They are very involved and their participation makes my day.”

On a recent visit to the class, this columnist spotted Louise Smith and Glenice Smitherman lifting weights above their heads and looking like it was great fun.

On a back row there were Maude Guy, Angie Hawkins, and Betty Nix stretching their muscles and stretching their mouths into happy grins.

Omega Cartwell and Tommie Lawley really seemed to enjoy exercising their legs in time with the big-band music that Hall was playing.

Elsie Taylor and Mary Peoples seemed serious about getting fit and staying fit. Others getting in shape that morning were Mary Morrow, Ion Nasworthy, Tom Vince, Freeman Isbell and Dot Forrest.

Everybody was working up a good appetite for the lunch that center manager, Rose Deviner, was to serve just after their workout.

Kirby is the professor of kinesiology at UM. She believes that exercise is particularly important for older people and she encourages seniors to get involved in some type of regular exercise program.

“The goal of the exercise session is to enhance overall wellness through; range of movement, functional strength and cardiovascular development as well as social interaction,” she said. “The sharing of basic health tips throughout the session adds to the class and by helping to promote healthy behaviors.”

The program at the Senior Center is open to everyone. Meetings are held in the large recreation building in Orr Park at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. Those who wish to have lunch should be 60 or older and should call to reserve the lunch by Tuesday of the same week. Information: 665-9206.

Catherine Legg can be reached at