Edith Piercy sat in a metal folding chair and watched instructor Eddie Furlong as he demonstrated various exercises.

Piercy of Glasgow is one of several senior citizens who turn out three times a week to exercise.

“It gives you something to do,” Piercy said, as she talked about why she takes the class.

The class meets for one hour, from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the metal gym behind the Glasgow Recreation Department’s office on Liberty Street.

Joining Piercy recently was Kathryn Arden also of Glasgow.

“I feel a lot better (when I exercise),” Arden said. “It’s good for arthritis.”

Carl Lacobie, another Glasgow resident, has been coming to the class since January and says he has noticed some changes.

“I’m in a little bit better shape than I was before,” he said, adding that since he began taking the class he has been able to lower his blood pressure and his cholesterol.

The class is for people who are 55 years old and older and is low impact that features both seated and standing aerobics.

“I kind of mix both of them together,” Furlong said, adding it is tailored specifically for senior citizens. “It’s designed to help their flexibility and their cardiovascular strength. It promotes interaction with other people. Basically, it’s just to help their overall well-being.”

The class is just one in the community that is offered to seniors.

A similar class is offered at the Lera B. Mitchell Clubhouse on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and like Furlong’s class it, too, features a seated aerobic portion.

“It’s mainly just to stretch and keep your muscles working,” Shirley Hoots, instructor, said. “It’s not anything strenuous. It’s good for arthritis patients because it helps keep those joints moving.”

Hoots said the class she teaches is even more low impact than Furlong’s class.

“My class is basically for people who can’t do the other,” she said. Exercise is good for seniors, Hoots said.

“It’s good for your mind. It keeps you active and allows you to be with other people,” she said, and besides lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise also lowers blood sugar levels.

Both classes are offered free of charge and anyone, provided they are a senior citizen, can take them.

“We welcome couch potatoes,” Hoots said.

The Barren County Family YMCA offers many exercise opportunities for senior citizens, including water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and a chair aerobic class called Easy Sculpt, Cathy Botts, health enhancement director for the YMCA, said.

There are several reasons why it is important for seniors to exercise, Botts said.

“Fighting off osteoporosis is one of the main reasons to exercise,” she said, adding that exercise also decreases the risk for seniors to develop cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Exercise also give seniors an overall sense of well-being and a better outlook on life, she said.

For more information on the senior exercise classes offered through the Glasgow Recreation Department, call 651-3811, and for those offered through the YMCA call 651-9622.

GINA KINSLOW can be reached at gkinslow@glasgowdailytimes.com or (27)0 678-5171, ext. 230

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