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Staying healthy, fit in your golden years

July 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Working out and going to the gym isn't just for youngsters. Staying fit in your golden years is key to living a long, healthy life.

Actress Florence Henderson is a poster child for staying fit. The former "Dancing With The Stars" contender realized years back that you've got to stay strong to last long. So she does Pilates three times a week, uses weights and a stationary bike.

"A lot of people as they get older are afraid they are going to hurt themselves, or I have never done it, I'll feel silly. And with Pilates I didn't feel that at all," Henderson said.

The actress emphasized that she stays active to prevent illnesses and broken bones.

"It keeps you going. It keeps you flexible, strong and young, and it affects your mind too and your attitude," said Susan Monaster. She works out at Beyond Physical Therapy in Marina del Rey, a physical therapy site with ample exercise programs.

Both Monaster and Henderson discovered the spot after re-habilitating from injuries.

Trainer Kim Smith wishes more seniors would stay fit because by age 80, up to 30 percent of muscle may be lost when movement is limited.

"The things that I see are the shifting forward of posture, the head forward. I see the loss in balance. I see hip discrepancy, strength discrepancy in the hips and the legs," described Smith.

Smith said her club offers senior discounts, but there's a lot they can do at home. First and foremost, she encourages walking. When sitting, practice contracting abdominals. Also, try to do as much as you can for yourself.

Even if you don't have weights, use items in the house to lift to stay toned. Soap jugs, water bottles and soup cans help maintain muscle mass.

Strength training increases not just muscle size but muscle strength, which also helps to prevent weight gain, and weight gain is a huge factor in physical disability.

"Well things start to shift. Your ankles aren't as happy, and your knees aren't as happy, and your hips get a little cranky. So the less those joints have to carry, the better off you are going to be and the easier it will be for you to move in general," Smith explained.

See below for a list of health centers that offer special senior rates:

Pasadena

Quick Gym LA
Discounted senior rate: $77 per month, which is 35 percent off normal rate
Everyone who signs up gets one week free
238 E Union St
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 405-0806
www.quickgymlosangeles.com

Breakthru Fitness
Discounted senior rate: $79 per month with a 12-month agreement
Normally they have a minimum six-month rate from $89 to $109 per month
345 S Lake Ave Ste 201
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 396-1700
www.breakthrufitness.com

Phoenix Fitness Center
Seniors who just use the cardio equipment pay only $20 per month
2523 E Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104
(626) 398-5800
www.phoenixpharmacy.com/fitness-center

Santa Monica

IRON Gym
Seniors 60 or older pay $69 if they pay on a monthly basis, $59 per month if they buy 1 year package
1919 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 264-9800
www.ironla.com

Marina del Rey

Beyond Physical Therapy
2903 W. Washington Blvd
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 578-5960
Call for various specials and insurance offerings
www.beyond-pt.com

Holiday Harbor Health Club
Seniors pay $24 per month, which is 15 percent off regular rate
14045 Panay Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 821-1662

Long Beach

The Fitness Center
Seniors pay between $45 to $51 for three months while regular clients pay $57; initiation fee is $40
3750 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 140
Long Beach, CA90806
(562) 988-5870
www.thekilroyfitnesscenter.com

Bally Total Fitness
Seniors pay $9.99 per two weeks. Normal rate is $17.99 per two weeks
4438 Pacific Coast Highway
Long Beach, CA 90804
(562) 494-1216
www.ballyfitness.com

Glendale

World Gym
Seniors can have membership rate covered if they have certain insurance.
1001 E Colorado Blvd
Glendale, CA 91205
(818) 243-1600
www.worldgym.com/glendale

24 Hour Fitness
Seniors may receive free membership under certain insurance companies including Medicare
240 N Brand Ave
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 247-4334
www.24hourfitness.com

Orange County

YMCA
Seniors have a one-time signing fee of $45, and pay $42 per month. Price is consistent for all OC locations
2300 University Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 642-9990
http://ymcaoc.org

Santa Barbara - Rolling Hills

Spectrum Club
Seniors 65 or older pay $75 per month; month-to-month basis with no contract
www.spectrumclubs.com


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