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Retirees embrace the key to successful aging

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– A growing number of retirees are seeing the benefit of fitness.

The days of dreading the gym are gone at the retirement community of Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, where seniors have found a recipe for success.

The woman credited with sparking a movement toward a healthier life is Lauren Hribek, fitness coordinate for Covenant Village of the Great Lakes.

“It’s not about being buff. Not about six-pack abs, it’s about moving,” Hribek said.

Resident Harriet Field said she’s been taking the morning classes for the past four years. For these retirees, the benefits of exercise mean so much more.

“She makes us sit and stand and I think that’s really important for balance,” Field said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, specific movements like bending and reaching help seniors conquer their every day tasks and help reduce the risk of falling.

“So you can still play with your grandkids, you can do your daily activities, with vigor so you don’t get tired out just walking up the stairs,” Hribek added.

“What I really like is coming in here and there’s someone 20 years older than me doing more than I do,” resident Bruce Haight. “Pretty inspiring!”

Hribek’s enthusiasm is catching on: about 30% of the home’s residents now either take one of her 20 fitness classes every week, or use the weight room and pool on their own.

“We can start at 9 am with exercise class, 10 am is pool exercise, 11:15 is tai chi.” Haight explained.

They may be in a retirement home but these seniors aren’t slowing down any time soon.

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