Joints in Motion meets at 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Group Ex Room at West. It is designed to make daily tasks easier through strength and flexibility exercises that are accomplished while seated in a chair. Several of the 17 in attendance on May 17th shared how the class has improved their functional fitness. One woman coming since this winter, said her balance and hand weight-lifting ability improved; another mentioned how the class helped her stay mobile and healthy. One member said she participated in water fitness classes for more than a decade ago. She started Joints in Motion, at the suggestion of her instructor, Sue, after double knee replacement several years ago. Now, her wellness routine includes both Joints in Motion 3 days a week, with Sue as her instructor, and water fitness 5 days a week.
The members expressed warm appreciation for Sue. Her instructional approach ensured the class ran smoothly from start to finish. The members assisted in setting up chairs and getting their equipment (2 small hand-weights and an exercise stretch band) before class. Participants gave kind consideration for the needs of fellow class members. Those limited by sight or hearing sat nearer to the instuctor; those with ambulatory limits positioned themselves nearer to the exit. Sue began teaching with a clear, soothing voice and step by step instructions. She demonstrated each movement with easy to follow visual cues. The class progressed through a series of sets of exercises that started with a gentle warm up. Each joint was taken through the participants’ full range of motion. Individuals remained seated for some sets; they stood by their chair for others, using a hand on the chair back as needed for stability. Sue alternate between joints as she taught. She offered brief rests to recover as she completed a series or switched to a different mode. She also employed weights and bands to enhance the resistance. She encouraged each person to engage in the movements based on their level of ability. For example, on occasion Sue gave the option to remain in one’s chair, if stability would be compromised. Sue kept a nice rhythm and intensity through the class…just enough to work the entire body without taxing any area.
After class, others offered comments. One woman said she suffered from a pain in her neck for years. In the 2 years since she started attending, her pain and numbness have reduced to minimal levels. Another participant cited an interesting benefit: brain challenges. She said Sue occasionally throws in some combinations that challenge her mind-body connections. A newer member appreciated the friendships formed and looked forward to the informal gatherings at Wegman’s following class. She said these impromptu events meet social needs of this population, many of whom are widowed and/or living alone.