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Queens Chronicle

Workouts for the chick-a-boomer generation

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:30 am

“It’s hard getting up in the morning,” said Debbie Thalblum, “but when I get here, I never regret it.”

“Here” is the weekly Zumba Gold class in Forest Park at the Seuffert Bandshell taught for the last three years by Maria Gonzalez.

At a mid-morning session last week, seven spry, enthusiastic seniors are lined up, Rockettes style, behind their instructor, moving to the beat of Latin music.

Half the hourlong workout is the vigorous dance program. In the second half hour, Maria switches the class to pilates, spreading her clients out on the benches of the landmark amphitheater for stretching and a resistance workout.

Several members of the Friday morning class are regulars at the Middle Village Adult Center, located in a former synagogue on 75th Street about 10 minutes away.

The rest are walk-ons who come several mornings a week to take part in the exercise series for seniors sponsored by the adult center and funded by a city grant arranged by City Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village).

The program includes chair yoga, park walks (one session leisurely, the other vigorous), pilates and Zumba.

There are five classes in all, meeting in Forest Park until the week after Thanksgiving.

The classes are free.

“This was a leftover New Year’s resolution from 2018,” said Liz Mooney, who attends the class with her husband, Tom.

“We said we were going to do this last year. But this year, we finally made it.”

Truth is, say doctors, nothing in the aging process necessarily slows older people down. It is that older people no longer move as much that accounts for most of the slowing down.

The value of regular exercise for seniors is pretty much beyond question.

Countless studies have shown it reduces the risk of falling and strengthens the cardiovascular system.

Yet the latest Surgeon General’s report found that, among women over 65, only one in three gets regular exercise. Among men of the same age, about half are physically active.

The rest ought to think about going to Forest Park.

Fun and Fitness for 55+ Seniors
When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Nov. 29, various times
Where: Seuffert Bandshell, Forest Park
Entry: Free. (718) 894-3441

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