Seniors walk miles, get fit

Participants walk Monday morning as part of the Senior Fitness Program at Copperas Cove City Park.

Senior citizens laced up their walking shoes and got fit this fall thanks to a local partnership.

The senior fitness walking program launched through the Armed Services YMCA and the Copperas Cove Senior Center in September ended last week to break for the winter season.

The ASYMCA was approached in August about helping put together an activity program for the seniors when YMCA fitness coordinator, Kira Bishop, suggested the idea of taking walks at South Park.

While the program generated camaraderie and a sense of accomplishment, it took a hit from a number of extenuating circumstances said Becky Johnson, community outreach specialist.

“Weather has been inclement. Plus, it seems like all of our holidays are falling on Mondays which is when the walking was,” she said. “But, anything that gets us moving is good for me and people were enjoying it.”

The program, held Mondays at 9 a.m., brought in 8-10 seniors every week. The YMCA transported the seniors by bus from the center to a walking trail at South Park where they walked at least a mile each day.

Senior Cathy Stockman joined the group on several occasions hoping to inspire others to get involved.

“I think it’s good for the seniors to get out and walk. It keeps you active and encourages you to get out and mingle and to not be at home by yourself,” she said.

Bishop said walking has a long list of health benefits, such as reducing the risk of a heart attack and lowering blood pressure.

“The seniors got those benefits while adding to their quality of life.”

Organizers hope to resume the program in the spring.

“It kept them mobile and allowed (the seniors) to do something that isn’t necessarily that easy, but they persevered and came through,” Johnson said.

For more information on additional programs offered at the Copperas Cove Senior Center call (254) 547-6049.

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