Senior Life: Find a good place to get some exercise (there are plenty in Portage County)

I recently was referred to a “back doctor” because I was having a lot of discomfort in my hip when I walked. Yeah, you guessed it, as soon as I made the appointment, the pain went away. I followed through with the appointment and was diagnosed with arthritis in my lower back, and of course her prescription was exercise!

She gave me several suggestions of places to go to exercise and one of them was a local senior center.

Maybe there is an awareness out there about what senior centers offer us “older folks.”

Of course I got on the phone and did some research.

The Aurora Senior Center (sponsored by the Aurora Parks and Recreation Department) offers several options for getting some exercise, as well as laughter. The Aurora Senior Center is located at 129 W. Pioneer Trail, in the Walker Building (330-995-9148). Not only do they offer a variety of exercise programs, but also the traditional Bingo games and luncheons.

Area seniors over the age of 55 are welcome.

The Streetsboro Senior Center (sponsored by the Streetsboro Parks and Recreation Department) offers a variety of exercise activities. The Streetsboro Senior Center is currently located at 1951 Annalane Drive in Streetsboro (330-626-2398). Their activities include Silver Sneakers Yoga, a SAIL class (Stay Active and Independent for Life), Tai Chi and more.

All area seniors over the age of 50 are welcome.

The Portage County Senior Center (sponsored by SCOPE and Family and Community Services) is located at 705 Oakwood St. in Ravenna (330-297-3456). They are currently offering sessions in chair volleyball, Tai Chi, drummers, and a SAIL class provided by the University Hospitals Portage Medical Center staff.

All Portage County residents are welcome, and all programs are free.

Another option for senior citizen exercise programs is Silver Sneakers. This is a service that most senior health insurance programs will offer, and give you the option of going to an established exercise facility such as Planet Fitness.

Another option is the Ravenna Athletic Center (sponsored by the Ravenna Parks and Recreation Department) at 530 N. Freedom St., Ravenna (330-296-2864).

Both of these programs will accept Silver Sneakers membership. Check with your health insurance program to verify that they will sponsor these memberships and if you are eligible.

Both of these facilities offer professional guidance to participants in choosing the appropriate equipment for you and your goals.

A third option with Silver Sneakers is that they offer exercise programs over the internet. Google Silver Sneakers on your computer, and you will find a variety of videos on senior exercise programs that you can participate in right at home.

Obviously any exercise group or organization you become involved with is better than doing nothing.

But when you decide to do something for yourself, keep in mind that your neighborhood senior center also offers you more options for socialization and laughter. All the research I have read over the years suggests that laughter is one of the best prescriptions for “what ails you.”

“Life is too important to take seriously.”

Interesting fact: The Akron-Canton Area Agency on Aging (Direction Home) is now serving 300,573 older adults in their four-county jurisdiction (Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne.)

The Akron-Canton Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities’ mission is to provide choices for people to live independently in the place they want to call home.

For information on how they can help you or a family member reach this goal, call 877-770-5558.

Contact Sally Kelly at 330-687-9501 or [email protected] with your senior news.

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