By Ruthywati Hartanto
Hard to believe that we needed a study to tell us that sitting all day is not good for our health when it seems so obvious, but the studies are helpful reminders to get up and move often.
This year’s University of Cambridge study, which examined activity levels among 1,400-plus participants aged 60 older, added the notion that keeping active is particularly important in later life as it can improve quality of life and people’s physical and mental well-being.
GNAG has been offering fitness classes for all ages for over 40 years, adjusting class formats and teaching styles to meet the needs of our community throughout the years.
We are privileged that some of our participants from those early years have continued to come to our classes as active seniors, so we ensure that that all our classes include movements that support activities of daily living, a mix of strength, cardio, mobility and balance.
Our focus for every class is on helping our community feel good every day, physically and mentally, by providing an environment that celebrates a can-do attitude and fosters social interaction.
This fall, we continue to offer FitXpress, a popular class for our early risers and those who need to get to work. Cardio Strength Intervals, Total Body Conditioning, Movement is Medicine, The Blend and Zumba round out the week.
Vitality is a new class that combines our classic high/low aerobic-style cardio with strength-based movements that not only train muscle but also help to maintain power and endurance, things that we lose if we don’t use as we age.
As one of the first in Ottawa to provide virtual classes when the pandemic hit, we will continue to offer hybrid (in-person and online at the same time) classes until the spring. Starting next summer, we will return to 100-per-cent in-person classes.
“In-person fitness classes are a safer way to work out,” says instructor Mary Tsai. “Participants are under the watchful eye of a skilled fitness instructor. They can make appropriate modifications and adjustments when necessary. Also working out with friends and neighbours is always way more fun!”
The social aspects of group fitness classes cannot be underestimated, as the Cambridge study notes. We all miss the big classes and look forward to everyone’s return to our studio.
Unfortunately, GNAG has seen fewer members post pandemic, which has an impact on the number of classes we can offer. But we’re hoping this next year and the summer return to full-on in-person will bring everyone back!
Ruthywati Hartanto is GNAG’s Fitness and Wellness Coordinator and has lived in the Glebe for more than 20 years.