Fitness class aims to help seniors with arthritis

If you go

What: Arthritis fitness class presented by Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's Aging Well program

Where: South Routt Community Center

When: Register from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday; class begins at 11 a.m. Sept. 10. Classes are Mondays and Wednesdays for six weeks.

Cost: Free

Call: 871-7676

— Living with arthritis can be incredibly painful. But local health officials say that with a little stretching and movement, relieving arthritis pain has become easier than ever.

In an attempt to reach more elderly Routt County residents suffering from arthritis, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is presenting a free arthritis fitness class beginning next week.

"Arthritis can be stiff and restrictive - that's why we encourage people to keep moving," said Jeanne Upbin, fitness coordinator for the VNA's Aging Well program.

The classes mix sitting and standing exercises for people of all abilities, and can be beneficial for any elderly residents living with arthritis, she said.

The program was developed through the National Arthritis Foundation, which has found that such programs often offer relief from arthritis, Upbin said.

This is the second time the class is being offered in South Routt. There are 11 other sites in the county where the program is offered, including venues in Steamboat Springs and Hayden.

The class is offered twice a week for six weeks.

"It's really beneficial to attend both classes," Upbin said. "It's really good for you."

Oak Creek resident and physical therapist Molly McClure is teaching the course. She recently became certified to teach the course through the VNA.

"The class is a directive to help people keep their range of motion and strengthen their muscles in order to relive their pain," she said.

Participating in the class can be empowering, too, she said.

"It's for people to take charge of their lives, to have an awareness of their own bodies, to minimize their limitations," she said.

Spending time with other elderly residents also is beneficial for class participants, she said.

"One of the most important aspects is the socialization and sharing of their situations, both with their arthritis and otherwise," she said. "It's fabulous."

Registration for the class begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Classes are from 11 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays beginning Sept. 10 for six weeks.

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