LA marks 25th year of National Senior Fitness Day with celebration

At the Highland Park Senior Center a day of fitness was in full swing. "It's National Senior Fitness Day's 25th year," said Tom Homsy of Humana.

Homsy said they put the focus on physical activity, exercise classes and programs in multiple gyms throughout the country

"There's over a million seniors in Los Angeles County alone. We think we need to give something back in support," Homsy said.

The workout not only featured stretching, low impact, strength and balance, but interactive booths to test grip, blood pressure, skin, vision and other health barometers.

Senior Director for L.A. City Recreation & Parks, Leslie Richter, says there are 29 senior citizen centers citywide and most programs are offered for free. "Older adults can come, make friends, join clubs, take an activity," said Richter.

A welcome opportunity for many, especially those who want to widen their social circle.

"We do have a free screening for depression, and that's really important. As older adults age they become more lonely, because as families move away, there's no more interaction with family members," Richter said.

A recent Yale study found that stress and anger can increase the risk of high blood pressure and chest pains by 600 percent, so the suggestion is group exercise classes -- they're a great stress reducer.

"Our older adult population is expanding. It's really important to be fit and healthy," said Richter.

They may be slowing down, but seniors are the fastest growing population in America, so stepping up activity helps them and the community.
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