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Keeping Fit After 50

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Keeping Fit After 50

Campus Class Offers a Smorgasbord of Theory and Practice on Healthy Aging

By Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs
Posted April 5, 2000

Staff, faculty, retirees and other adults of late middle age and beyond are invited to sign up now for "50+ Fitness," a popular, low-cost campus course that stimulates brain and body.

Developed by CalFIT and the UC Berkeley Retirement Center with support from campus's Center on Aging, 50+ Fitness offers lectures by experts on healthy aging and nutrition for a healthy lifestyle, plus classes introducing a variety of exercise options.

The class begins Friday, April 14, and continues each Friday morning through April 5. An addition special session, May 12, covers the basics of sea kayaking. Most of the three-hour sessions are held in Hearst Gym.

When 50+ Fitness was offered for the first time last spring, the response was overwhelming: more than 90 people from campus and the community enrolled.

"Even though exercise classes geared to older adults have become more plentiful," said CalFit Coordinator Susanne McQuade, "the emphasis in many venues is still on youth. More often than not," she said, "personnel are untrained to help those who are older to adapt fitness regimes."

Administrative assistant Holly Wilson, who took 50+ Fitness shortly before retiring from Berkeley, called the instructors "knowledgeable and enthusiastic" and her fellow participants "a fascinating group of retirees and almost-retirees."

"The class was just wonderful, and it introduced me to some things I didn't know about," recalled Jeanne Dennis, 79, whose late husband was a gynecologist at Student Health Services for 18 years. "We had a chance to know about yoga and tai chi and strength training, all of which I'm doing now."

Dennis said she and her 86-year-old boyfriend later tried a CalFIT dance classes, thanks to dance expert Charlene Van Ness' introduction to dance during one of the 50+ sessions.

This spring the course keeps some of the most popular classes and talks presented last year -- including Van Ness' dance for fitness class; "How Much Exercise is Enough;" an update on nutrition by Tang Center dietician Michele Vivas; and sessions taught by experts in strength training and Tai Chi.

The newest edition of 50+ Fitness will also feature classes in Pilates, a method of building strong postural and abdominal muscles through a series of mat exercises; the Chinese art of energy management, Qi Gong; and gentle aerobics.

Those interested in sea kayaking at the Berkeley Marina may sign up for the additional four-hour Cal Adventures class.

Registration for 50+ Fitness is required. To register, mail a $20 check payable to UC Regents for all four sessions (or $8 for an individual morning) to the UC Berkeley Retirement Center, 2 Boalt Hall, MC 7200, Berkeley, CA 94720-7200.

The kayaking class (normally $65) is being offered for an additional $35. April 14 is the deadline to register for kayaking; for information on that class, call McQuade at 643-8032.

For information or a detailed schedule on the 50+ Fitness series, call the Retirement Center at 642-5461 or CalFIT at 643-5151.




April 5-11, 2000 (Volume 28, Number 27)
Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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