SoCal community fitness class helps seniors stay active, connected

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Fitness is important at any age. Experts say the golden years aren't so sunny if you can't move well. A community class in Los Angeles is helping seniors get moving and stay connected.

It's 10 a.m. and the Yvonne B. Burke Senior & Community Center is thriving thanks to a partnership of a handful of nonprofit organizations including Partners in Care and the AARP Foundation - who've come together to help seniors.

"We provide programming throughout L.A. County. We have grants from the Los Angeles Department of Aging," said Dianne Davis with Partners in Care.

Davis is excited at how many people her organization can reach through community, faith and in-home programs. This particular workout is called Enhance Fitness. Attendee Frankie Manuel loves it.

"The interaction with my peers, the seniors, and it helps me with my other exercise classes," said Manuel of Inglewood.

"This is a three-year program. We have seven different locations across Los Angeles, and we're offering a variety of classes that are all evidence based to prevent falls," said Dr. Allison Moser Mays, a geriatric physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Mays says the program originated from the University of Washington and has been shown to reduce the risk of falls by 40 percent.

The class helps with balance, strength and bone density. Most of the experts say one of the most important things is, making the seniors' quality of life a lot better.

"We know that social isolation and loneliness along with physical abilities are huge issues for older adults," said Davis.

"We know that social isolation has the same risk as smoking 13 cigarettes a day," said Mays.

Both experts say while this free program brings people together for fitness, it in turn creates community.
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