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Early in the morning, the parking lot at Lake Tomahawk is busy, indicating a lot of people are afoot. Some arrive to walk laps around the lake. But even more are busy inside at the Lakeview Center, taking part in one of the many weekly fitness classes for older adults.

Each week, six exercise classes are available to community members at no cost.

The total body workout, as well as the fellowship, the caring instructor and no participation fees, draw a crowd each day to the fitness classes. Participants may choose intensity level from low to high. They can take chair fitness and yoga classes.

Barbara Harris of Black Mountain is delighted to be back to her fitness routine, after having taken a year long break for medical reasons. She attended the Lakeview fitness classes regularly for years before and plans to pick back up now where she left off.

“I’m so glad to back, and I missed it so much,” she said. Attending three times a week with her husband Robert, Harris knows the overall body workout is good for her health. She finds the classes are a fun way to take care of herself while putting a priority on her fitness and enjoying the company of others.

“We all care about one another and stay in touch regularly,” she said. During her recent medical absence, she found strong support from her exercise class companions.

Participants said their instructor, Nancy Poole, is key to their commitment and love for attending regularly. Having taught the Lakeview fitness classes for more than 10 years, Poole has drawn quite a following of faithful fitness fans.

“Teaching helps me stay on a regular fitness schedule too,” she said. “I love the folks in the classes. They are wonderful to work with. Participants said Poole is wonderful at what she does and makes the classes fun.

Poole is motivated in part by the special fellowship she shares with class participants, but also by the ways they care for and support one another. She also teaches fitness classes regularly at Highland Farms.

“We are so blessed to have Nancy as our instructor, and that our community supports older adult activities like these,” said Harris.

Meeting inside at the Lakeview Center, classes include use of light hand weights, walking/running around the room’s perimeter.

They involve stretching, strengthening, chair exercises and various yoga movements. The classes are underwritten by the town’s Department of Recreation and Parks’ senior programming.

The participants also enjoy gathering outside of class. They check in on one another if someone is absent. They enjoy recognizing birthdays during class.

The classes are open to anyone. The group encourages and welcomes those interested to come give it a try. The fitness class schedule is:

  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 8-9 a.m. Higher Intensity fitness
  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 9-10 a.m. Lower Intensity fitness
  • Tuesday: 11 a.m. Chair exercise (held prior to the daily hot lunch)

The classes are part of a slate of activities meant to appeal to older adults. Other program options include the daily lunch, bridge and card games, a new Friday morning walking club, and movie nights. For more about senior programming, contact Brittany Williams at the Lakeview Center at 669-2035. Or blackmountainrec.com.

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