This fall, Asphalt Green got 40 New York City senior citizens active and moving in our free Senior Fitness Program. During the 14-week program that ran September through December, we led participants through senior-only group fitness classes twice a week for one hour to help them improve strength, cardiovascular health and balance.
The 40 participants came from various senior centers around the city, specifically 15 individuals from Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 11 people from Union Settlement Association and 14 seniors from The Carter Burden Center for the Aging. Classes were held at Asphalt Green’s Upper East Side Fitness Center for the Stanley Isaacs and Union Settlement participants, while Carder Burden Center for the Aging classes took place in their gym facility.
Led by Asphalt Green certified personal trainers, fitness classes were broken into two parts. One half of the class functioned in a group exercise setting where seniors performed functional exercises, dance movements, strength training and stretching. The other half of the class was “on the floor,” where seniors went into the gym and learned how to use exercise machines and equipment. The goal is for seniors to learn how to exercise independently and feel comfortable in the gym.
To track the progress of each senior, our fitness staff performed testing at the start and end of the program. Testing metrics assessed strength, flexibility, balance, stamina and endurance. For example, testing included Arm Curls to test arm strength, Chair Stand to see how hard it is to move from sitting to standing, Step Test to review stamina and Back Scratch Test to assess flexibility. We provide these results and compare it to the national average so each participant can see their improvements.
One of our star seniors this fall term was Martha Flores from Union Settlement Association. She made several improvements over the 14 weeks. For the 30-Second Chair Stand she went from 12 reps in 30 seconds during September to 20 reps in December. In fact, Martha was above the national average in every category she was tested in! Congrats Martha on all your hard work!