Adults 55 and older have lots of choices at Portland Parks and Recreation this winter

by: KAY-LANI MUNRO/PORTLAND PARKS & RECREATION - Seniors can sample a variety of health and fitness activities at Portland Parks & Recreations Charles Jordan Community Center this winter if they buy a Senior Active Pass, available to ages 60 and older.

It’s that time of year when we resolve anew to eat less, exercise more, lose weight. And what better year than 2013 to pursue these worthy goals? There are more choices than ever for older adults (that includes you, baby boomers) who want to stay healthy and fit as they age — in particular, classes designed for bodies that move a little slower and ache a little more than they used to.

The senior recreation classes that Portland Parks & Recreation offers this winter cover just about every aspect of health and fitness for adults 55 and older, from yoga and tai chi to Zumba Gold and line dancing, even mental exercises to boost your brain power.

The winter lineup at Portland Parks & Recreation includes three new classes at the Charles Jordan (formerly University Park) Community Center: one that uses movements such as bending, lifting and reaching to condition seniors so they can keep up with everyday activities; a “boot camp” for those who like high-energy workouts; and a class that combines good nutrition with exercise (see information on Page 5).

The latter class, called Eat Healthy Be Active, reflects a trend toward a “holistic” approach to health and fitness, says Kristine Canham, senior recreation program supervisor for Portland Parks & Recreation.

“You’re not just taking a nutrition class or just taking an exercise class, so you don’t leave your exercise class and go straight to a drive-through, rewarding yourself because you’ve exercised so much,” Canham says.

In the same vein, Portland Parks & Recreation is offering a new Senior Active Pass, which entitles adults 60 and older to take any or all senior and adult classes offered at the Charles Jordan Community Center.

Canham is especially excited about the Senior Active Pass for a couple of reasons: It entices older adults to take several classes a week, and it costs just $19.50 per month per person or $29.25 per couple.

“We’re looking at people wanting to go more than one day a week,” she says. “For example, you could take a senior class, then work out at the gym, then take tai chi.”

Haven’t hit 60 yet? There’s always the Adult Active Pass for ages 18 to 59, which costs $26 — “or 86 cents a day,” Canham says.

by: KAY-LANI MUNRO/PORTLAND PARKS & RECREATION - A senior yoga class at the Charles Jordan Community Center. Portland Parks & Recreations senior recreation program offers yoga this winter at the Charles Jordan center and at the Mt. Scott Community Center and First Congregational Church.

Senior recreation: what’s new

Portland Parks & Recreation introduces the following programs for adults 55 and older starting in January at the Charles Jordan Community Center, 9009 N. Foss St., Portland:

Fit For Life

This class in functional fitness uses real-life movements to improve physical conditioning, enabling adults to handle everyday activities such as grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and bathing — “the movement you need to be able to function,” says Kristine Canham, senior recreation program supervisor. Fit For Life exercises can be done standing or seated, she adds.

When: 10-10:55 a.m. Thursdays, Jan. 3 to Feb. 7, ($15), and Feb. 14 to March 28 ($17.50).

Eat Healthy Be Active

Combine nutrition and fitness in this class, which includes stretching, cardio and fitness training, demonstrations, recipes and presentations from a nutrition educator.

When: 11-11:55 a.m. Thursdays, Jan. 3 to Feb. 7 ($15), and Feb. 14 to March 28 ($17.50).

Active Aging Boot Camp

For energetic individuals who want to step up their fitness routines, this class includes circuit and interval training.

When: Noon to 12:55 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 3 to Feb. 7 ($15), and Feb. 14 to March 28 ($17.50).

Senior Active Pass

For ages 60 and older, the pass offers access to every senior and adult class at the Charles Jordan Community Center, along with access to the center’s fitness facility. Monthly fee: $19.50 per person, $29.25 per couple. No fees for membership, initiation or cancellation. Students are encouraged to commit to two classes per week. The following classes are paired according to ability level: Yoga and Fit for Life; Fit For Life and Eat Healthy Be Active; Eat Healthy Be Active and Active Aging Boot Camp; and Enhance Fitness (for all fitness levels, standing and/or seated exercises).

More info on classes, locations

Portland Parks & Recreation’s senior program operates citywide at other community centers; staff is available to help seniors find classes and centers near their homes.

Phone: Kristine Canham, 503-823-4328