Getting exercise in our 'older' years

Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg
October 2, 2008 3:27:16 PM PDT
There is no question that our later years can be easier and happier if we exercise regularly. Whether its by shimmying and shaking, climbing up the high wall when you are nearing 80 years of age, or working up a really hard sweat in a seriously taxing aerobics class, a few senior citizens are motivated and committed to exercise, fitness and wellness.

They're taking part in the seniors in shape program at the Aviator Sports and Recreation center located at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

They come from all over for these classes.

"My husband passed away and I got very depressed and put on a lot of weight. So I said no, I gotta get myself out of it. I started exercising and it's done me well. I feel good," said Joan McFarland of New Jersey.

74-year-old Pat Milne takes two buses to get to the class. "I have arthritis that is very bad. I've had two hips replaced. When I saw exercise for arthritis, that's what motivated me to come," said Milne.

The motivation is simply to feel better, which most of us welcome.

The research keeps showing increasing benefits for seniors who exercise, not only slowing down or fighting disease but also improving memory and emotional wellbeing.

One key for seniors is finding a place that is fun and trying it out.

Betty Plotkin, at age 78 decided to try rock climbing and took a class. "My daughter came and we did it together, and then my granddaughter came and we did it together," she said. Betty's husband is also able to enjoy watching the class.

And for these seniors and every person who needs motivation, enjoyment is the key to exercise and its many benefits.

"You start getting the energy from it, it actually starts taking over you. You want to do more and more, and you feel great!," said Susan Lavin with Aviator Sports and Recreation.

There are over half a dozen other types of classes for seniors offered. Seniors come and take as many as they want to in a day, for just $5. Everyone should have a good exercise program, and having fun can be one great motivator.

For more information on these classes, go to

STORY BY: Eyewitness News medical reporter Dr. Jay Adlersberg

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