WAUKESHA -- The last week of September is Active Aging Week in the U.S. and other countries all around the world. A fitness boot camp for seniors in Waukesha is giving participants a new outlook on life.
On the artificial turf inside Waukesha Fit Body Boot Camp, a workout group is seeing real results.
“We didn’t have as much energy as we have now," says Pam Runnells, who takes classes with her husband. "So when we work out in the mornings, we walk out of here and we’re like, ‘Let’s go! Yes, let’s do this.’ We’re ready to go.”
They participate in Fit Body Forever, a class for adults aged 55 and older that meets three times a week.
“A lot of times, they’re retiring and they want to play golf," says Dianna Marcks, the owner of Waukesha Fit Body Boot Camp. "Or they have great-grandchildren or grandchildren. They want to be able to pick them up, maintain their balance. They want to stay active.”
The number of older adults in the United States is growing at an unprecedented rate. A 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the population of Americans aged 65 and older is expected to double in the next 25 years to about 72 million people.
“It’s important at that age-group – they’re afraid of Alzheimer’s and dementia," Marcks says. "Anytime we’re doing any kind of physical activity, what it does is it improves our cognitive ability. So it slows down that process or even prevents Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
Marcks is a personal trainer, registered nurse and a grandmother. She tailors the Fit Body Forever classes to the needs of an older adult, with an emphasis on core strength, balance and coordination.
"Because it’s a little slower-paced, we really watch form," she says. "We want to make sure that we’re doing squats and lunges appropriately."
“To be toned, to be fit, to be able to do all functions of life," Runnells says of her goals. "I don’t want to have any limitations of, ‘I can’t do this because I’m not physically strong enough or physically able to do it.’ ”
It’s one way to ensure a longer life will be fully lived.
For more information on the Fit Body Forever classes, CLICK HERE.