LEWISTON – St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center now offers a new fitness class designed for area seniors.

Offered through St. Mary’s HealthSteps program, the class is called the Lifetime Fitness Program.

Classes will be offered by HealthSteps from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning April 26.

The program will run for five weeks at a cost of $30 for the series.

Classes are held at the Yoga Center of Maine in the Marketplace Mall.

Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Bureau of Health and the Maine Bureau of Elder and Adult Services, the program is a series of specially designed and tested exercises developed specifically for mature participants.

It consists of one-hour classes, meeting three times a week and is designed to be socially stimulating while focusing on areas of recognized importance for mature participants: stretching, low-impact aerobics, strength training and balance.

Researchers and specialists in aging and fitness at the University of Washington, long recognized for its research in healthy aging, developed the program. After as little as six weeks, participants have not only developed a basic understanding of weight training, they see measurable results including increased flexibility and better balance – a major factor in preventing falls among the aging.

Unlike many classes offered in health clubs and gyms, the Lifetime Fitness Program has been designed to be safe for physically unfit seniors, yet challenging enough for more active participants.

“While many current programs attract seniors who have always been physically active, our program appeals to individuals who haven’t participated in an organized exercise program before,” said Cindy Richards of St. Mary’s Prevention and Wellness Services.

“We are delighted to offer a program based on sound research and backed by scientific studies. This alone makes it unique. What’s more, our participants are telling us that it is the social aspects of the class that they enjoy most,” she added.

For more information about the program, to register or for directions, contact HealthSteps at 777-8898. Space is limited.

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