Gentle Fitness an interview with Lenora Peterson


Manage episode 305504120 series 2893006
By Floyd Miller. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In 2018, Lenora Peterson developed a Gentle Fitness Program to address the needs of seniors who could benefit from a low or moderate impact physical activity routine. The purpose of the program was twofold. First to inspire seniors to take control of their health, fitness, and goals in life. And second to reduce Senior isolation and to help them maintain an active lifestyle. Gentle Fitness classes are offered to seniors two days per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays / 10am to 11am at Sears Recreation Center, 2250 Ambler Ave. in Abilene, Texas.

In Ms. Peterson’s research of the adult obesity rates in the US, she found that of the top 25 states represented, the state of Texas had an adult obesity rate of 34% and a rank of 19 out of 25.

This was followed by Iowa with an obesity rate of 33.9% and a rank of 22 out of the 25 states cited. However, she also found that Mississippi had the highest obesity rate out of the 25 states listed with a rate of 40.8% and a rank of #1. (https://state of childhood obesity 2018). Realizing the significance of these findings, Ms. Peterson set out to design a fitness program in her community for the Senior population who could not engage in robust, high impact exercises. She decided to take a proactive approach to help seniors in their quest to lose weight, engage in fall prevention activities and maintain an active lifestyle. She solicited the assistance of the National Institute on Aging and was provided a plethora of resources including the Go4Life book that outlined basic strategies to promote fitness focusing on balance, endurance, flexibility and strength.

Ms. Peterson also approached Texas and found that the Texas Health and Human Services encouraged Seniors to utilize their Tex-ercise Program ( to engage in low impact aerobics.

Through Ms. Peterson’s research, she realized that in order for seniors to gain maximum benefits from an exercise regimen, seniors should spend at least 150 minutes or 2 hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity. With this in mind, Ms. Peterson monitored each senior’s capacity to engage in moderate exercises and encouraged them to move at their own pace. After carefully observing the seniors capacity, Ms. Peterson decided resistance bands were a viable and effective workout option for seniors. It was noted that the resistance bands helps in building total body strength, improve circulation and recovery time and further serve to improve seniors flexibility and range of motion. A major benefit to seniors in using resistance bands is that they do not cost much, often under $10. The bands also caters to different fitness levels. This includes young or old, beginners or experts. With a variety of resistance, light, medium and heavy, resistance bands are easy to adjust the intensity level.

During a Zoom presentation to the Blooming Boomers, Ms. Peterson demonstrated a variety of exercise techniques using resistance bands including chest pull, bent over row, bicep curl, chest press, squats, leg press, triceps press and calf press.

Through Ms. Peterson’s commitment to make a difference in serving seniors in our community, she has demonstrated how her Gentle Fitness model for seniors can be replicated in other communities and contribute to a healthy, aging lifestyle for seniors

26 episodes