By Amy Maginnis-Honey
From page OSF3 | May 09, 2013 |
FAIRFIELD — Forget walking. Swimming isn’t their cup of tea, either.
A group of women – only one is younger than 70 – just want to jump.
They do it every Tuesday morning. Jump Highway – located near Interstate 680 in Fairfield – offers time on the trampoline to those 60 and older in its Silver Jumpers class.
“This is so addicting,” said Lynne Locke. “Once you start, it’s amazing.”
The idea for a trampoline class for seniors came from Jump Highway owner Linda Frye’s desire to combat the effects of aging.
“As we age, one of the first things we lose is our balance,” she said.
That’s where the trampoline and exercise routine developed by instructor Liz Magalong enter the picture. The workout is designed to strengthen the muscles in the torso, enabling the women to stand straight.
It also focuses on bringing more flexibility to the hips.
“Watch the way young girls walk,” Frye said. Class participants aren’t necessarily looking for swagger, just more freedom of movement.
“The older we get the more we collapse on ourself,” said Magalong, a pilates instructor. The class is like a standing version of pilates, she said.
During class, Magalong has the participants check their heart rate a few times. It’s not a competition to be the best in class. The goal is to gain more strength and confidence, Magalong said.
Instruction involves a series of movements, ranging from moving one’s feet to create a figure-eight while walking up and down the trampoline to doing the twist.
“We are women. We can do it. We do 20,000 things a day,” Magalong told the group.
Suezane Melikian, 78, remarked how her health has changed since she started the class, which began in September.
“I’ve had a lot of health problems,” she said. “Things are improving. I am so much happier. I’m not afraid of falling and I’m not in as much pain.”
Betsy Martin, 72, said she’s received numerous benefits from being a Silver Jumper. Her medical history includes two foot surgeries, a knee replacement, breast cancer and a back surgery to keep her from having to use a wheelchair.
The strengthening enabled her to stand straight, translating to an additional half-inch in height.
She also had lymphedema, which causes fluid retention.
“As we get older, your lymphatic system gets more sluggish,” Frye said. The regular exercise stimulated Martin’s lymphatic system to the point that she’s no longer swollen.
The women enjoy each other’s company in class. Almost as much fun is explaining to family and friends what the class is like. Jumpers Jean Kelly and Locke had doubts when they first heard about the Silver Jumpers.
“I said there was no way (I was going to do it),” Kelly said. “I didn’t want to break a hip.”
Diane Williams travels from Hercules to be part of the group. She got a taste of the jumping life at a grandchild’s birthday party. Then she wanted more and called Jump Highway for more information.
“I love it,” Williams said. “It makes you feel so good. You feel so light.”
Williams has lost 50 pounds recently and finds the class a great way to keep the weight off.
“I don’t care how old you are, you need to play like a kid,” Frye said. “This allows us to do this as adults.”
“There’s hope. You can change your physical body, even at this age,” Magalong said.
Men are welcome to join the Silver Jumpers, which meets at 10 a.m. Tuesdays at 455 Lopes Road, Fairfield. More information is available by calling 202-5800 or by visiting www.jumphighway.com.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.