Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 24, 2013

Friendly fitness

Exercise gets Autumn Gardens residents moving

By Anne Calos anne.calos@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — With rock ‘n roll oldies playing in the background, a group of residents from Lockport’s Autumn Gardens participated in their weekly group exercise class Tuesday afternoon in the community center at the complex.

One of the class organizers, Ken Liddell, said the class is important because it gets people out of their apartments to exercise and socialize.

“So many people don’t leave their apartments and they don’t get any exercise, so this really gets them moving,” Liddell said.

Liddell didn’t start the classes, but he did take them to the next level. He went to Mayor Michael Tucker to see if they could get some help with flyers or equipment, and Tucker put him in touch with the county’s Office for the Aging.  

Now, thanks to the county agency, participants have exercise bands to enhance their workout, as well as File of Life kits and other handouts.

The exercise class is led by the only non-resident of the group, Christine Dumphrey. Although Dumphrey doesn’t have any formal training, she attends many exercise classes herself and is also a nurse, so she knows the health benefits of exercise for seniors.

Participant Christine Glaser walks with two canes, but she still manages to walk from her apartment to class every week. Glaser, who is set to have a knee procedure soon, said the class has been a great help.

“This class has done me a world of good. It’s really helped me keep moving, even with my knee problems,” Glaser said.

Mary Mussari, who has lived at Autumn Gardens for decades, said she seldom misses a class. Neither does Marie Berger, who enjoys the exercise and the camaraderie.

Peter Barnum was joining the group for the first time, but said he’ll definitely be back.

After the exercises, the group enjoys some snacks and socializing, which is what brings Sharon Pittler and her neighbor Ramona over every week.

“I really enjoy the company — and the food. Everybody walks over from their apartments, it’s nice,” Pittler said.  

Liddell is hoping that even more residents decide to join in. The class is free, and any resident of Autumn Gardens is welcome.

“Nobody has to call ahead. Just come to the community center at 2 on Tuesdays. We always welcome new people,” Liddell said.