Laramie Boomerang (WY) – Thursday, January 29, 2015


New fitness classes intended for seniors are designed to help participants improve strength, flexibility, mobility and aerobic fitness. 

Rachel Carr, owner of CrossFit Laramie, is organizing the classes, scheduled to start Tuesday at the gym, 1404 Skyline Road. The classes are intended for seniors 60 and older.

The Move Well, Be Well series is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. It’s set to run in three-week blocks of progressive skill-building. The cost is $10 per class.

The earlier class is set to focus on mobility, flexibility and functional movement in everyday life for those who aren’t very active, Carr said. The second class will focus on aerobic fitness and strength for seniors who are already active.

The classes aren’t designed for different age groups but rather for different activity and ability levels, Carr said.

“One group would be the people that are more active and mobile, that are already the skiers, bikers, swimmers and whatever else, and have them do focus on strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness,” she said.

The class focusing on mobility is intended to help seniors maintain or regain fitness that will aid their day-today activities. For example, the class might help a person who struggles to get up from the ground after a fall.

“Maybe they’re the ones who need a little bit more help to be more self-sufficient,” Carr said.

Participants are welcome to decide which class they think would suit them best, she said.

The classes are set to be taught by Michael “Joe” O’Leary, a trainer at CrossFit Laramie who specializes in improving mobility.

Linda Pickel, a registered nurse who works for the Eppson Center for Seniors, said she’s been working out with Carr for several weeks after realizing her overall strength was not good.

“I went to a physical therapist and she had me do a sit-up and I couldn’t even do a sit-up,” said Pickel, who is in her mid-60s. “It was an eye-opener for me.”

After several weeks of fitness classes, she’s noticed a difference.

“I feel like my joints are just unlocked,” she said. “I’m loosening up.”

Pickel encouraged other seniors to prioritize basic fitness as a way to maintain their lifestyles, regardless of whether they like to be active.

“We need to have some strength so we can continue to do the things we want to do,” she said.

Pickel said she has plenty of room for improvement with her own fitness, but she also plans to stay active for decades to come.

“I would highly recommend that whatever a person decides to do, that they do something just to keep themselves going,” she said.

“The 60s and 70s are still very young.”