Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Better balance class helps seniors

 

Stephanie Thompson

Kathy Tarter and Kathy Marchent pretend to move an imaginary ball through the air.

Soft music was coming from the exercise room, and the calm voice of an instructor could be heard giving people directions.

Better Balance Class teacher Mary Grubb was explaining each move to the eight-person class Monday morning.

"You guys are the perfect example of people who are trying not to fall," Grubb said.

She continued to give the students instructions on how to elongate their spines in order to have better posture. Once the group warmed up through stretches, they started making ball movements and other slow movements.

During the ball movements, the participants pretend they are holding a ball. They then proceed to move this pretend ball back and forth.

"I need this, this morning," Grubb said. "I don't know about you guys."

Once the ball exercise was complete, the class worked on getting out of the chairs properly. They were then asked to sit down. Sounds simple enough, but a lot of balance is required to get in and out of a chair properly. Grubb was impressed when not a single person in her class turned around to see where their chair was. They knew it was still right behind them, since they had just stood up. This was an improvement from some of the first classes.

The group then focused their attention on strengthening their lower body muscles by completing squats and leg stretches.

"Do any of you feel like you're getting stronger," Grubb asked. "If you don't, you need to do more at home."

Even though Grubb knows a lot of her class participants won't complete the exercises at home, she encouraged them to do so.

"When we have a break through summer, I don't want to hear one of you had a fall," Grubb said.

Next, the group turned their focus to strengthening their ankles. They swayed back and forth and raised up to their tippy toes and then back down again.

"We're going to have such strong ankles," Grubb said.

The class not only improves the participant's balance, but it helps make them more aware of their surroundings.

Grubb said being aware of one's surroundings is a good way to avoid a fall.

 

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