Monday, June 15, 2009

Fit and Over 50

Gene Woodard was concerned about her weak upper body strength and poor balance. She also was diagnosed as pre-osteoporosis. Woodard turned to WellBound Health & Fitness, a health club near 114th Street and West Dodge Road that focuses on baby boomers and seniors. Exercise made a big difference in the life of the 75-year-old Omahan. ‘I couldn't stand on one leg for 10 seconds. Now I can almost indefinitely,’ she says. ‘I can now carry an armload of groceries.’ Woodard says she has more stamina, more mental alertness and more energy. Her bone density has improved to the point that her doctor said it was OK to give up her medication. Some members tell WellBound's director, Michelle Streif, that they can use less medication after exercise, which saves them money. ‘A big absorption of the health care dollars is by inactive boomers and seniors, mostly due to medications,’ she says. ‘However, they should talk to their doctor first before cutting back on medications.’ Streif, who is a fitness trainer specializing in older adults, says WellBound members give a myriad of reasons why they join. She remembers a recently widowed woman who set as a goal to run a half marathon with her daughter. ‘They came here to get in shape. She has now run two of them.’...

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