Active Aging Week

Chaska Community Center fitness instructor Carisa Kuntz leads an in-person class during Active Aging Week. The class was streamed live on The Chaska Lodge Facebook page as well.

When Stay-At-Home orders from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz were imposed last spring, neighborhoods were filled with people walking up and down streets and sidewalks.

Warmer than usual temperatures, an early spring, aided in neighbors getting outside and reintroducing themselves as they passed by one another.

With snow arriving in October, the calendar quickly turning toward the winter season, remaining active during the continued pandemic was on the mind of fitness centers and patrons.

"I think with this population (55-plus) being at higher risk, we look at it as our duty to provide them with a quality experience and quality programming. They want to see the faces of instructors that they knew, not just pulling up some video online," said Missy Goff, fitness instructor at the Chaska Community Center.

It is why just weeks after closing their doors last spring, the CCC pivoted to a workout-from-home approach. Fitness classes for Active Older Adults are available Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and Monday and Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. Each class is 45 minutes long.

"One of the first things we looked at was the limitations of what they may or may not have access to at home. We started off saying all you need is yourself and a chair. Over time people have purchased weights, and we have incorporated some resistance to our exercises. People get creative. Some were using soup cans, gallons of milk, whatever they had," Goff said.

Things were settling in at the Chaska Community Center and then another 4-week shutdown came. Back to virtual workouts.

The CCC reopened on Dec. 19 to multiple restrictions. The fitness area and track are available, but the gyms, pool and activities such as pickleball remain on pause.

Goff said some members chose to wear masks throughout their experience before the most recent shutdown. For now, all will be required to wear a mask through the entire workout.

Community Center access is available only by online sign-up. Members are only allowed until further notice.

Online, or in-person, it's about being welcoming and keeping everyone feeling safe. Regular cleaning schedules are in place.

"Do I think online streaming of classes replaces that experience of being in-person, that camaraderie that is developed among those working out, and their instructor? No. But we've evolved to fit the need for all people. There are some people that are ready to come back. They want that next step and we want to be able to cater to them as well," Goff said.

TIPS TO REMAINING ACTIVE

Those wanting an exercise and healthy aging program specifically designed for older adults who want to improve their quality of life through exercise and fun can turn to Silver&Fit, an online fitness center.

New free daily workout options are available through the Silver&Fit website with live workouts streamed on Facebook.

Offered are cardio, yoga, strength/body weight, and flexibility and balance classes. The website's mission is to increase your energy levels, stretch your body, and move with ease.

Staying active can be simple, too.

Snap Fitness in Shakopee posted three easy ways to move your body during the day on the gym's Facebook page.

  • Park in the farthest parking spot
  • Do bicep curls with your grocery bags
  • Do calf raises while you're cooking dinner

Walking remains one of the easiest ways to stay active. Korbyn Doucette, club co-owner, said on the gym's Facebook page the benefits of walking includes giving you more energy, relieving stress, improving sleep, and increasing happiness.

"Our recommendation is high incline, low speed for 20 minutes. More work in less time is always a good prescription," he said.

As winter is upon us, everyone could use a bit of happiness in their life, right? So get out, be active in anyway you can!

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