Exercise is essential for staying in shape physically and mentally

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When getting older, staying healthy can become more challenging as activity sometimes begins to decline.

But what if you choose to never slow down?

That’s the case at the Senior Services Center of Will County, where seniors are offered a wide variety of wellness and exercise classes such as yoga, tai chi, stretch and tone, country line dance, P.A.C.E (People with Arthritis Can Exercise) and Mall Walkers Club.

“These classes offer countless benefits to our seniors,” said Lindsey Chojnicki, activities coordinator at the center. “Not only does it keep them living an active life but also keeps them able to move and stay healthy. Our motto here at the Senior Services Center of Will County is to keep seniors living independently in their own home for as long as they can.”

The classes help not only physically, but mentally as well. Without classes some seniors would not be as likely to exercise. The group setting draws them in, helping them make great friends and keep moving around during workouts.

“All of the classes have helped tremendously,” said Betty Brandolino, 72-year-old class participant from Crest Hill. “Yoga and stretch and tone have really helped with my joints and back. I’m able to move around much better.”

Brandolino is also part of the Mall Walkers Club that takes place at Westfield mall.

Shirley Laidler, 75, from Lockport, too is a part of the Mall Walkers Club in addition to taking yoga and stretch and tone classes.

“Coming to the classes has not only bettered me mentally but has allowed me to help out more around the house,” Laidler said. “I have built strength up. I love coming to the center and would recommend any of these classes.”

Tai chi, a Chinese exercise that relaxes the body and the mind, is a less strenuous class offers plenty of benefits.

“I have spoken with members of [tai chi] class countless times and they said, ‘Tai chi helps us with our memory and balance.’ It is something that all should take to help prevent any falls,” Chojnicki said.

Call the Senior Services Center of Will County at (815) 723-9713 or visit www.willcountyseniors.org.