You know that saying, "Age ain’t nothing but a number" – well, it totally fits for residents at Emerald Heights Senior Community in Redmond.
I was invited to participate in a yoga class at their campus that focuses on balance and posture. This is a new(ish) class that I’m told has significantly helped reduce the number of people falling. Obviously, that’s great news!
I was curious what the class was all about and, to be honest, I was kinda hoping to see a bunch of cute little grannies working it in matching sweatbands, dancing to the oldies. But boy, was I wrong. These yogis — up to age 91! — were strong as hell.
They made it look easy while I was sweating my booty off. To be fair, I’m 3-months postpartum, so maybe that’s why I’m still sore? But regardless, this would be a good workout at any stage in life.
Not your "grandma's" fitness class.
It was 45 minutes with squats, lunges, and band work. When the instructor yelled for a water break, I was a little bit too excited.
Tom Stoebe is 83 years old and has lived at the community for 13 years and counting. "This class keeps me going," he said. "It’s either keep busy or sit around and eat Bon-Bons."
I mean, Bon-Bons are pretty tempting, Tom.
75-year-old resident Andrea Johnston has been doing yoga for more than 30 years, so keeping up with her practice just makes sense. She goes for the exercise and social time, "The people here are so welcoming, and it really is like one big happy family."
29-year-old Andrew Hill is the program director. He’s in charge of curating the activities for everyone, "When I started working here, I fell in love with all the people," said Hill. "I love hearing all the stories."
"All of my own grandparents have passed away and I feel like the people here fill that void."
And because Hill is literally one of the kindest people I've ever met on the planet, here's a workout he put together to share with us — for all ages!
- SQUAT (use a chair if needed) - 15 times, 4 sets
- DEEP FORWARD LUNGE - Alternating, 15 times, 4 sets
- MEDICINE BALL, SQUAT CHOP - 15 times, 4 sets
- STANDING MARCHING ALTERNATING ARMS AND LEGS - 30 seconds, 4 sets
- JUMPING JACKS - 15 times, 4 sets
The real takeaway from this experience (other than I need to work out more), is that prioritizing your fitness at any age can truly provide physical and mental wellness. And growing older isn't so scary when you have a community to do it with.
Kate Neidigh is a freelance writer for Seattle Refined. Follow more of her work here.