By Justin Hunter
CHURUBUSCO — Falls are the leading cause of death among the elderly population in the U.S.
According to Aging Care, 1.6 million senior citizens were sent to the emergency room for fall-related injuries. Experts say exercise is the ultimate way to prevent falls.
Patrick and Amy Carpenter are owners of Anytime Fitness locations in Churubusco, Columbia City, Bluffton and Huntington.
Churubusco’s facility is accredited for SilverSneakers, a group for senior citizens to exercise together with a certified trainer.
The Carpenters have been passionate about exercise ever since they dated back in high school. Thirty-five years later, their love of exercise is still a driving force for them.
“It’s our calling, so over the years we have picked up a lot of knowledge,” said Amy Carpenter. “It’s our way of helping people.”
The senior classes primarily focus on strength, balance and cardio. Many senior citizens can often get free courses through their health insurance.
“Balance is so important for seniors to prevent falls. So, we do quite a bit of balance exercises. We also work on flexibility so that they stay mobile,” said personal trainer Chris Neireiter.
The SilverSneakers members tend to like the results and atmosphere they’re getting as well.
“What I like most about the classes are the comradery,” said Don Denton, 78. “We have some fun. I also walk better and balance better. Falling is a great killer to people our age. So, these exercises prevent these things from happening.”
Anytime Fitness pushes healthy lifestyle choices in the classes, but leaders also encourage smart choices outside the class too.
“Senior health is all about moving,” said Carpenter. “It’s about taking the stairs instead of elevators. It’s walking to their mailboxes on a regular basis. Of course, nutrition is important as well.”
According to Carpenter, not just seniors, but people in general claim to struggle to find time to do daily exercises.
“Don’t let obstacles or excuses get in your way of your health,” said Carpenter. “We just have to take time for the priorities we have.”
SilverSneakers classes are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. and 9:50 a.m. in Churubusco.
The facility is located at 8475 U.S. 33 in Churubusco.