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Get a Move On
Senior strength and fitness class

photo Theresa Remsberg (left) and Dorothy Therriault run through some exercises while sitting.

The name of the group sets the goal: Stay Active and Independent for Life or ‘SAIL’.

Mondays and Thursdays at the Twisp Valley Grange, elders meet to work out and achieve that goal.

The Methow Valley SAIL exercise class is a free strength and balance fitness class for seniors 65 years old or more. The class is full up with 18 participants right now, and the waiting list has interested seniors. The oldest participant is 94 years old. Anyone who takes the class must have the approval of their personal physician.

“Falls among older adults are the single greatest cause of injury hospitalizations in Washington State,” said SAIL leader Theresa Remsberg. “Older adults who do strength and balance exercises regularly can decrease their risk of falling.”

Remsberg and others aid any exercisers who need assistance. Some work from a sitting position, others walk and stand.

“The Senior Falls Prevention Study (funded by Centers for Disease Control, coordinated by Washington State Department of Health and NorthWest Orthopedic Institute) showed that seniors who attended the study exercise classes at least two times per week for one year decreased their falls by 26%”, according to Remsberg.

The Methow Valley SAIL group began in April 2008, started locally by Aero Methow Rescue Service in partnership with Methow in Motion. The class includes aerobics, balance exercises, strength training (with wrist and ankle weights or resistance equipment), and stretching exercises.

SAIL instructors also provide education on topics such as signs of stroke, 911 addressing, home fire safety, ear and eye health, immunizations, diabetes, Car Fit and disaster preparedness. With grant money, organizers have added trekking poles for outdoor walking in the spring and summer.

The Methow Valley SAIL instructors, volunteers and participants are supported by Aero Methow Rescue Service, (Methow in Motion), Winthrop Kiwanis, the Methow Valley Community Fund and the Twisp Valley Grange. Theresa Remsberg of Aero Methow Rescue Service, at 997-4013 is a contact for more information.

photo of seniors walking in a circle indoorsSAIL participants warm up with a walk in the Twisp Valley Grange.


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