Aerobic drumming gives a new avenue for wellness for Grayling area senior citizens

Groups of senior citizens at the Crawford County Commission on Aging (COA) and Senior Center are kicking up their heels and getting their health into a better rhythm.
The COA started offering aerobic drumming as part of its “Fitness After Fifty” program in March.  
Aerobic drumming combines the development of muscular endurance and cardiovascular conditioning. It involves using an inflatable  ball, like a yoga ball, placed on a stand, that people drum on with sticks.
“It’s a way of using your arms and your legs and really your whole body in a fun series of movements done to music,” said  Marian Long, the volunteer coordinator for aerobic drumming.
 Long stepped forward to teach the classes since she has a background in the medical field.
“I’m a nurse and I am always interested in things that are good for people to do, and this sounded like a lot of fun and it is,” she said.
The classes started using an instructional DVD, but participants have since come up with their routines.
“There’s music, there’s activity, there’s rhythm, and there’s a lot of fun and laughter,” Long said. “I say at three o’clock on Thursday afternoons, this is one of the happiest places in Grayling.”
Long said the workouts, which last an hour, are not overly strenuous, and new participants don’t have to be anxious about keeping up with senior citizens who have been in the classes the last couple of months.
“There is a lot of leeway,”  Long said. “People can just move to their own comfort level.”
Senior citizen Joyce Cousins said the classes gives older adults an opportunity to learn new activities that students are being introduced to in school.
“It’s a lot fun and you’re with friends,” Cousins said. “I recommend it to everybody.”
Sheryl Biggs said she looks forward to taking part in aerobic drumming every week.
“You’re exercising without realizing you’re exercising because you’re having so much fun and with the music you get a good workout at the same time,” Biggs said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
So much enthusiasm has been shown for aerobic drumming that a second session was added, which is held at 10 a.m. on Mondays. Those classes are led by Marc Dedenbach.
Melanie Conway, the assistant director for the COA, said the agency is always looking for new programs to boost the wellness of senior citizens.
“We’re constantly trying to look at additional wellness activities for senior citizens in Crawford County that are fun and we’re looking to draw some of the Baby Boomers in who are more active,” Conway said.
The COA has 26 inflatable balls, so classes can accommodate more senior citizens.
Barb Hunter and Nancy Lemmen are taking over the leadership for classes held at 3 p.m. on Thursdays.
“We’re very thankful for Marian to get it up and going,” Conway said.
For more information,  call (989) 348-7123.

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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