Rutland senior workout group gets back to business

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - When pandemic closures shuttered senior centers, Vermont’s aging population had a hard time finding human interaction. A workout group in Rutland is now back together and reaping the benefits of physical and emotional health.

Every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., Marilyn Sheldon teaches the Fit and Fun class. “A lot of the people that come to these classes are very active and they know it’s important,” Sheldon said.

She can’t remember when exactly she began teaching this class but says it must be at least 25 years ago. One of those years was lost to COVID. “It was awful. I hated it. I like to move and I like to interact with all of these wonderful seniors,” Sheldon said.

Mary Crowley belonged to a local gym pre-pandemic, now she attends Fit and Fun, Bone Builders, and yoga classes at the Godnick Adult Center. “During COVID, everything shut down. It was terrible. I used to go grocery shopping at 6 or 6:30 in the morning. Oh my gracious, It was awful!” Crowley said. She says exercising is important but the social aspect is just as beneficial. “We talk to people. There’s Roberta, she’s fun to talk to... It’s getting out.”

“It’s a social event,” added Roberta Maltese. She takes care of her husband at home and walks her dog but says moving and being with others makes her feel physically and mentally better. “It really has given me a new energy and it’s just nice to get out with people you know and laugh.”

The center has other exercise classes, games, workshops, and crafts -- something for all seniors to enjoy with others. “It just seems like you’re part of a family group,” Sheldon said.

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