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Low Impact Exercise Group at Calmar Rehab Clinic
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Low Impact Exercise Group at Calmar Rehab Clinic

There is a new exercise group in Calmar for older ladies that want to stay in shape safely. Though, I'm not quite in the "Red Hat" age bracket, I thought I'd give encourgement to these fun loving ladies who would rather be called "Red Hot Ladies of Calmar."

On a cool early fall morning, a group of about 15 enthusiastic older ladies gathered at the Calmar Rehab Clinic ready to begin their exercise program. It wasn't that long ago that these lovely ladies had been on their way to work at this time of day, now they are finding time for themselves.

They are interested in staying fit and working on gaining strength that they say they feel they had been losing until they joined the exercise group. Instructor Alyssa Bullerman, PTA, assigns each to an exercise station to start out with and then later she will tell the group when it's time to switch stations, as they exercise and stretch muscles that will help keep their balance, strength, and fitness intact. Laughter fills the Rehab Center as Bev Lutkenhaus finds a magazine photo of her "inspiration" Patrick Dempsey that Alyssa taped to the treadmill for her. On their faces you can see how proud they are of what they accomplished together, making it so much easier to stay motivated as a group as they work on low level of impact exercises and also benefit from the social aspect of the ladies group.

Instructor Alyssa Bullerman explains how this program got started, "Winneshiek Medical Center Rehab and Sports Medicine wanted to promote wellness in our local communities. A patient asked if it would be possible to start an exercise program designed for older women. That is how our class got started."

A few of the members of the exercise group had this to say about the new program that started this summer. "When I think of Tuesday and Friday exercise, I think of the phrase 'Use it or Lose it,'" said Barb Posivio. Alice Hageman explained, "It is so beneficial for us seniors and a nice social gathering as well. Love it." Bev Lutkenhaus commented, "Besides the supervised healthy benefits of cardio, strength and stretching we are doing, we do have fun right here in Calmar. Alyssa and the ladies are so dedicated, it is awesome."

"The program is designed for people wanting a low level of impact exercise. This type of exercise plan is usually the most beneficial for the older population. During each session, I divide the ladies into two groups. One is focused on cardio and the other is strengthening. Each group lasts 20 minutes and then we switch. The ladies are able to use our cardio and weight machines during their session. Stations are numbered and placed throughout the clinic along with a picture of the strengthening exercise. After about one to two minutes we rotate to the next. The number of stations depends on the number of participants for that day. The exercises focus on core stabilization, balance, postural muscles and overall strengthening. We use resistance band and small hand weights for most of our exercises. The session is 100% supervised to make sure correct techniques are performed and to modify an exercise if needed. The benefits of exercise are endless at any age. Exercises helps with depression, blood pressure, weight management, diabetes, arthritis, balance and endurance just to name a few. The class is on Tuesday and Friday mornings with our first session starting at 7:55," Says Alyssa.

Cost of the class is $45 for an eight class punch card. If you are interested or would like more information on the class you can call Alyssa Bullerman at the WMC Rehab and Sports Medicine Calmar Clinic at 563-3243 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:00 to 4:30 or Winneshiek Medical Center Rehab and Sports Medicine at 387-3031 outside of the Calmar Clinic hours.

They also offer high intensity interval training class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6 a.m. at the South Winn High School. Both Classes are taught by Alyssa Bullerman PTA, Certified Core Instructor and Certified Kettlebell Instructor.

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