Fitness on Demand

Written By: Teagan Macklin,
Boiling Spring Lakes Parks and Recreation Senior Program Manager

Within our Boiling Spring Lakes Community Center, the Lakes Room was not typical anymore. There was something different about this room where a group of 20 or so people met to partake in our new Fitness on Demand classes. First, there was the music. Instead of the typical high-energy dance, the class marched in almost choreographed precision to songs ranging from 1960s Herb Alpert-style material to the “Hokey Pokey.”

And while they worked out, the Fitness on Demand instructors dispensed advice and motivation among participants. Senior citizens ranging in age from 55 to over 90 dutifully followed instructions, continuing their workouts according to their pace.

Fitness On Demand offers interactive group fitness products. 
The innovative video delivery systems offer robust content and a simple-to-use, comprehensive web-management portal. There are hundreds of exercise videos available, including kickboxing, dance, yoga, cardio, strength and flexibility—and new classes are updated monthly. With more than 1,000 systems sold, Fitness On Demand is today’s most popular club technology product and is recognized as the industry’s standard for simple, intelligent, and reliable digital group fitness solutions. We are the third company in the state to have this technology.

The purpose of having this equipment is to make classes fun, and sometimes participants are half a family. Some have lost a spouse, so we try to make it a social thing for them, and incorporate everyone as they come into the golden years.

This scene is yet to be played out in dozens of senior centers, fitness rooms and other communities due to the newness of the program. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon; only 10 years ago, when the BSL Community Center first opened, there were few senior fitness programs in the area or even in Brunswick County. Today, Boiling Spring Lakes alone has 30 senior fitness classes offered and there are more than five senior centers and numerous other neighborhood sites. More than 1,000 seniors participate around our county and partake in various offered activities and fitness classes, and they are adopting new, healthy habits.

Seniors had not been raised in the era when folks worked out on a regular basis, but once we had the spaces designated for senior fitness, they immediately became interested.

The new Fitness on Demand program is offering everything from strength-training classes to yoga. This senior site has not only Fitness on Demand, but also an exercise fitness room, which include treadmills, cardiovascular equipment, and strength training equipment.

“I’ve had two knee replacements and have had angioplasty,” says 73-year-old Joan, a Boiling Spring Lakes resident. “But these classes have been great for my health and attitude.”

“I’ve had trouble with my legs, but I find that the exercise is really helpful,” 62-year-old Susie, also of Boiling Spring Lakes, adds. “It was hard in the beginning, but now I really love it. It’s really helping me get into the routine of working my muscles.”

Instructors who work with seniors will agree that classes are beneficial for a number of reasons. Here are a few:

• There have been studies showing that people in their 80s and 90s have increased their strength significantly after undergoing strength training. They’ve thrown away their canes and walkers, and it’s not just from a physical standpoint, but also a psychological standpoint. It increases your sense of well-being, it alleviates depression, and it increases self-esteem and self-confidence just knowing you have the ability to participate in exercise.

• It also becomes a social event and benefits the cities and towns that sponsor the fitness programs. They say that fitness programs work because a healthy senior population puts less demand on health care systems and other agencies that serve an aging population.

• Programs like this are keeping seniors active and mobile, and the healthier that a senior becomes, the less demand the senior is on government services. With the aging of society and the Baby Boomers coming closer to retirement, this adds stress on our health care system. If you can maintain functional ability and independence with those who grow older, that will go a long way in alleviating that problem.

So with all these benefits, what took so long for seniors to get involved in a physical fitness craze that has been a part of the American culture for decades? Many health experts suggest that it has to do with the increased life span for seniors in this country; the United States Census Bureau reported that more than 43 million Americans were over the age of 65 in 2012, accounting for nearly 14 percent of the entire population.

So what are you waiting for? Come check out the Fitness on Demand classes or see an instructor for current classes at our facility, conveniently located in Boiling Spring Lakes near the corner of Hwy 87 and W. South Shore Drive (1 Leeds Rd.).

For questions, concerns, or detailed information, please contact the Boiling Spring Lakes staff:

Mary Green, Director: mgreen@cityofbsl.org
Anita Dwyer, Recreational Program Supervisor: adwyer@cityofbsl.org
Teagan Macklin, Senior Program Manager: tmacklin@cityofbsl.org
Check out our website: www.bslprd.org
Give us a call: (910) 363-0018

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