Local seniors sport Silver Sneakers custom shirts at the Johnson County Senior Center.

By Meg Dickens

Seniors at the Johnson County Senior Center are always active. They are difficult to keep up whether they are taking trips, dancing, or celebrating each day and holiday. Perhaps the local health programs help. Silver Sneakers is a special, low-impact exercise program that is perfect for group exercise.

Mary Swanson created the program in 1992 after her father had a heart attack that made him want to focus more on living healthy. These exercises focus on helping seniors stay fit in a three-step cycle; warm up, winding up, and cooling down. The program focuses on the feet, legs, hips, waist, arms, neck, and head. Silver Sneakers allows for modified routines to prevent injuries.

Instructors come to the center on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 10:45 am each week. Silver Sneakers instructors Mary Robinson, Jo Caraway, and Wendy Laumer rotate classes. Common gear includes weights, bands, and balls. The center provides all of this equipment, and there is no charge to participate.

The senior center has custom Silver Sneakers shirts with the tagline “Fitness. Fun. Friends.” Many seniors make new friends while working on fitness to accompanying music. It is not limited to seniors either. Anyone can attend this free program to better their health.

Silver Sneakers is not just for physical health. Participants can socialize and make friends. This can greatly improve mental health. Mental and physical health are closely intertwined. Take care of both physical and mental health to live a long and healthy life. The members of the Johnson County Senior Center are a good example.

For more information about senior center and its events, contact Kathy Motsinger at 727-8883. Event calendars and the daily menu can be picked up at the Center. The Johnson County Senior Center is a multi-purpose center in Mountain City, TN that provides a variety of services for people 60 and older.