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Approximately 17 seniors bounced to the fast-paced dance music inside the auditorium of the Senior Activity Center at Pan Pacific Park on Tuesday morning, lifting each foot off an aerobic step and spreading their arms apart, while gripping one to three-pound brightly-colored weights.
They do this every Tuesday morning for an hour as part of the cardiovascular and strength class at the center — uninterrupted by breaks.
The exercise class is part of the center’s year-round senior programming.
Some seniors in the class, like Boris Kelman, 79, took the class with ease.
Kelman has been coming to the Senior Activity Center for nearly 10 years.
After having heart surgery, doctors recommended that he start exercising.
“Now, I don’t feel any [pain],” Kelman said. “And I believe, I think, it’s because of the exercise.”
With high temperatures predicted for the summer, the Senior Activity Center is opening its doors to seniors to escape the heat. Alannah White, recreational assistant at Pan Pacific Park, said the center is open to seniors who want to come in and cool down.
“We invite seniors to come in and enjoy the center, play some ping pong or socialize,” White said.
All the programming is either free, donation-based or included as part of the $10 annual center membership fee.
Additionally, seniors receive muffins and light breakfast snacks in the morning and low-cost meals Mondays through Friday.
Yoga, Zumba, ping pong, basketball, tai chi and folk dancing are among the physical fitness classes offered.
For those looking for more sedentary activity, there is Bingo.
Additionally, as part of the Senior Activity Center membership, seniors receive a monthly newsletter and discounted tickets to special events throughout the year.
Maruca Medina, a retired teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District, volunteers at the center every Tuesday to lead the cardiovascular and strength class.
“I volunteer during the summer to keep seniors active,” Medina said.
All of Medina’s students appreciate her work.
Chata Manley, 80, who prefers to work out in the back row, is one of them. Like Kelman, she has been coming to the center for 10 years.
“It really helps our balance. Because we are older people, we don’t have good balance. This exercising helps out a lot. Exercise keeps you mentally in shape. It gives you strength and keeps you social with other [people],” Manley said.
In addition to exercising, Manley attends the tai chi and meditation classes.
Jo Ann Lesser, 76, has been coming to the center since she retired in 2011.
She said working our regularly helps seniors stay in shape, both physically and mentally.
“I used to have back problems, but since I’ve been working on my core, I no longer have them,” Lesser said.
The Senior Activity Center is located at the southeast corner of Pan Pacific Park at 141 S. Gardner St.
For information, call (323)935-5705.
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