Baton Rouge seniors enjoy 'low impact' exercise class

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Don't over do it.  This exercise class is all about kicking back.

At Sharp Road Park, Instructor Mary Ann Dixon emphasizes low impact moves for cardio conditioning.

"When you have control over parts of your body it gives you a sense of control of yourself as a person," said Dixon.

The six seniors in the class are also working on their muscular endurance, overall toning and breathing.

"Elderly people have a tendency to want to pant rather than breathe.  They have to monitor or I monitor their heart rate. What they start at, what their resting pulse is," said Dixon.

87-year-old Al Harrison attends the class every week.  He's an LSU graduate, now living with pain in his knees.

"I'm also going to therapy too to help with my knee, but this I think is going to be a help too," said Harrison.

Dixon has led this class for 24 years. To her and to this group, the class is more than just an exercise routine. There's sentimental value here.

"It's almost like a small family where they enjoy each other. When one is sick there are get-well cards that go out," said Dixon.

And while the impact is low on their muscles, the impact is nothing less than high on their well-being and happiness.

"It makes me feel better and I just like to be with these people and with Mary Ann," said 85-year-old Joanne Duke.

"They always go out the door saying, 'I'm so glad I came because I feel better now than I did when I got here,'" said Dixon.

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