In record-high temperatures last week hovering in the 70s, Solon seniors moved to the beat during a Zumba class held on the deck of the Community Center pool.
Inside, a water-exercise class drew a handful of others, who began to stretch and use dumbbells in the shallow end of the swimming pool.
Older residents are staying active during the pandemic, even with the senior center still shut down due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases statewide. But water exercise classes continue to be offered at the Solon Community Center.
Groups of all ages attend indoor water classes while others take part in a variety of offerings on the outside pool deck, including cardio drumming, flex chair meditation, yoga and more.
For 99-year-old Fran Springborn, of Solon, the pool deck programs keep her moving and her joints limber. “That’s what we need more,” she said. “When you are home, you do nothing, but here, because others are doing it, you’re doing it.”
The group did high claps, twists and turns, and worked up a sweat.
“It just makes you feel so good being outside and able to socialize with our exercise buddies,” said Solon resident Ellie Frost, 73.
The eight different water exercise classes offered each week give participants a variety of options, aquatics coordinator Jim Sordi explained. “There’s something for everyone.”
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, summer was a success in terms of class participation and enthusiasm, he said.
“People have really enjoyed the variety of teachers,” Mr. Sordi added.
Classes are running Tuesday through Friday with a Sunday schedule now being offered.
Senior citizens tend to be the majority of the participants, Mr. Sordi said. They start each class with a warmup then go on to separate disciplines, like aerobics, strength and balance or noodle work.
Class size ranges from eight to 25 participants.
“It’s good for the body, mind and soul,” JoAnn Branthoover, 78, of Chagrin Falls, said while heading into the pool. “We also get to socialize a little, while staying 6 feet apart.
Ms. Branthoover got set to begin stretching and weight work in the pool, as well as noodle exercise.
“I just love it,” she said.
Mr. Sordi said that water exercise is offered year-round and particularly valuable now amidst the pandemic.
It also helps to increase balance and ease the joints, he added.
“The instructors make it fun,” he said.
Solon resident Vicki Gibbons, 68, said she has participated in the virtual programming offered through the senior center, but “it’s much better being with other people, even when it’s cold out,” she said as a Zumba class wrapped up.
“I have actually lost some weight and my body shape has changed,” she added.
In addition to helping her stay in shape, the exercise gives her an all-around boost, Gayle Routman, 65, of Solon, said.
“I just had a physical and all my numbers are better and my weight is down,” she said. “I feel like I’m doing something and seeing everybody really perks me up.”