Elkhart Seniors Learn the Magic of Movement

Elkhart County NEPA Julie Miers is changing the lives of area seniors one exercise at a time. Each week as she introduces a new activity, she helps them build muscle mass and confidence in their abilities.

“I completed the Eat Smart Move More series with a husband and wife last fall and decided to invite them to participate in the Eat Smart Live Strong series this spring,” Julie said. “J.R. wasn’t too sure about the exercises we do as part of each class. She was very sedentary and had some difficulty walking.”

So, Julie started slowly.

“With some encouragement, J.R. did all the gentle exercises along with some marching in place and a few other easy moves I shared with her,” Julie said. “The following week, J.R. told me she and her husband did all the exercises every day – along with some additional movements such as marching in place and wall pushups.

“She was very proud of her accomplishment and says she continues to do 10to 15 minutes of movement and stretching each day.”

Inspired, Julie moved on to teaching seniors at a local meal site.

“Each week the participants listen attentively while eating lunch,” Julie said.

“We recently did the ‘Moving More’ class and had most of the room ‘moving and groovin’. Those able to stand, did. The others followed along in their chairs while we marched in place. We added arm pumps and many more simple gentle exercises.”

After the ‘Moving More’ class, Carl, 85, shared how much he enjoyed the class. He told Julie and his classmates that he had started walking at a nearby walking path.

“He does a couple of laps every day now,” Julie said. “I was pretty impressed and I think he inspired a few other participants that day as well.”