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Staying strong in mind, body, and spirit

Find your fitness niche at any age

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November 26th, 2013

In search of fitness that's also fun? It's all right here, says Ann's Choice resident Fran Calahan. When Fran moved from Doylestown, Pa., to Erickson Living's community in Bucks County, she added its classes to her fitness routine. And she has better balance to show for it. "There's a fitness niche for everyone right on campus," she says. That's the beauty of Ann's Choice. People with established fitness habits can incorporate something new. People who never made fitness a priority can explore the fitness and aquatics center's variety of on-campus opportunities. They'll discover certified-trainer-led classes, one-to-one training sessions, state-of-the-art equipment, events like the annual Erickson Living Walking Challenge, and high-energy water volleyball classes. "We offer fitness for mind, body, and spirit," says Beth Mullen, the center's manager. And because campus buildings are all connected by glass-enclosed walkways, daily walking is a built-in fitness benefit.

Fitness that fits your style

Fran, Mary Jane Frantz, Hildy Olejnik, and Helen Kannengeiszer, who take part in the center's Club Fit sessions, share the easy camaraderie of classmates and neighbors. Participants work at their own pace, but the primarily chair-exercise class isn't for slackers. Laughter erupts often. However, say the women, it s a real workout and they use all their muscles. Fran, Mary Jane, and Hildy are long-time exercise buffs. "On the other hand," says Helen, "I'd never used a gym in my life before Ann's Choice." After a health history review and approval from her doctor, a fitness center trainer developed a program specifically for her. Now, the former Abington resident works out on the center's strength-training machines and takes its Aqua Tone classes with Fran and Mary Jane. She's achieved both increased strength and endurance. Because of the buoyancy of the water, Fran recommends Aqua Tone or Arthritis Aquatics classes to everyone. A former runner, Fran now power-walks six days a week, outside, four miles each time. "Fresh air and sunshine are therapeutic," she says. Drizzle doesn't deter her, but in harsh weather she walks in the campus pool. And she dances, a love she inherited from her father. "It's so important to keep your body flexed and strong," she says. When Hildy lived in Hatboro (and decades before that), she followed at-home fitness routines. She used videos and Wii Fit to stay limber and build muscle. At Ann's Choice, she's added Club Fit, at least two weekly fitness center workouts, and a Stretch and Flex class. Her benefit? More energy. Mary Jane's mix of activities has paid off in better sleep. She swims, takes Stretch and Flex, and works with a personal trainer, a 15-year habit she began when she lived in New Jersey. She's a true fitness center fan. "During my 50-year fitness history, I ve had lots of instructors," says Mary Jane. "The staff here is excellent."

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