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StrongWomen exercise program expands into Kunkletown

Published August 20. 2018 12:43PM

A program that aims to help older adults keep their strength as they age is expanding its reach.

The StrongWomen/Growing Stronger program through the Carbon County Penn State Extension office, will host a second class at the Eldred Township Community Center, 516 Kunkletown Road, Kunkletown, Monroe County, beginning in October.

Keri Byrne, nutrition education adviser at Penn State Extension, said that the first year for the program was a success so they wanted to help more adults — both men and women — by creating a second class.

The other class is hosted at St. Peter’s Community Resource Center, 177 Main Road in Weissport.

“We’re excited to open a new location,” Byrne said. “We want to reach the populations in other areas because it’s very important.”

The program, which is geared toward people age 40 and up, aims to combat the effects of aging and help men and women continue to live a healthy life well into their senior years.

Byrne said that women begin losing 0.25 to 0.33 pounds of muscle per year beginning in their early 40s. That muscle loss is replaced by fat.

“Over time that really adds up,” she said. “The loss of 2 percent strength per year results in weak muscles and a hard time moving.”

The strength training exercises are geared toward everyday activities like reaching for things in the cabinet, flexibility and balance.

“The better your balance and strength, the better it protects you,” Byrne said.

Everyone moves at their own pace during the classes and modifications for each exercise are available.

Class will include a warm-up session, followed by eight to 12 strength training exercises and a cool down. It will also include discussions on nutrition and health topics.

The two classes will begin in October.

The one in Kunkletown will be held at 6 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays from Oct. 1 through Nov. 7; while the Weissport class will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 2 to Dec. 18. There is a fee for the classes.

To learn more about the classes, Penn State Extension will host information sessions at each location.

People interested in attending the Kunkletown location are urged to attend the free information session at 6 p.m. on Aug. 22 at the Eldred Township Community Center; while those interested in the Weissport location should attend the session at 1 p.m. on Sept. 13 at St. Peter’s Community Resource Center.

Byrne said that those interested in learning more about StrongWomen/Growing Stronger should attend the information sessions because there is medical paperwork that needs to be completed.

Participants up to 69 must provide their medical history, informed consent and a physical activity readiness questionnaire.

For those who answered yes on any questions in the questionnaire or are over 69 years old, a physician authorization form must also be included.

For more information about the program or information, contact Byrne at kab62@psu.edu or visit http://extension.psu.edu/health/strongwomen/events.

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