background image

Enhanced Fitness Becomes New Trend

Seniors who participate regularly in the Enhanced Fitness program work on their jabs and uppercuts as part of their cardio workout with Stan Overturf, certified Enhanced Fitness program instructor and Senior Services recreation coordinator.

Keeping the chin up, core tight and posture straight is key for participants of the Enhanced Fitness program.

Enhanced Fitness, a program of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Senior Services Department, welcomes seniors and those with limited mobility to come for a workout a few times a week at 9 a.m. at the Senior Services Department in Salt River (Mondays and Tuesdays) and at the Lehi Community Building (Thursdays).

The program has been going on for several years but has recently become popular within the department.

“I have seen the number grow from five to eight people at the beginning of this year to over 20 people attending the program on a regular basis now,” said Stan Overturf, certified Enhanced Fitness program instructor and Senior Services recreation coordinator.

Before they start the fitness program, participants undergo baseline assessments of their ability to sit, stand and walk, and how many dumbbell curls they can complete.

During the hour-long workouts, participants do full-body exercise, including lifting dumbbells (ranging from 1 to 8 pounds), cardio and stretching.

For example, on Thursday, November 30, in Lehi, the seniors started by picking a chair they felt comfortable with for extra support. They practiced a few breathing techniques, did some stretches and moved into the full-body workout. What you might think may be an easy workout had the instructor almost out of breath as he did his best to stay in sync with the participants.

Participants had a choice of which weights they wanted to use during workouts. Many chose two sets of weights. Participants of the Enhanced Fitness Program do shoulder press workouts with weights, which many require heavier weights.
It wasn’t until almost the end of the hour when the participants started to breathe a little harder and perspire a bit. They all were eager to finish their sets and didn’t want to be the first to quit during the workout, whether it was during an upper-body shoulder press or the seated squats. When the class was finished, participants had no problem getting up and walking out of the room with energy and smiles.

Over the past several months, Overturf and program staff members have noticed positive changes in the participants who have been working out regularly every week; they have improved their ability to move compared with their baseline assessments. Many of the seniors also have gradually increased the amount of weight they can lift. Participant Gale Grey said since she has started the program she has seen a big improvement in her health, “I encourage everyone to participate,” said Grey.

“It has also helped me get stronger since my injury,” said Serena Padilla on the program.

Enhanced Fitness takes place in a fun environment with music and laughter. Fort McDowell and Guadalupe community members also may take part in the Enhanced Fitness program.

The Enhanced Fitness program is offered through a Title 3 grant from the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. Overturf was certified in 2016 and leads the program every week. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend; for more information, contact the Salt River Senior Center at (480) 362-6350.