92-year-old celebrates 15 years of teaching
Tribune News service
Wednesday was a day to celebrate at the Carson Senior Center.
Glen Martin, 92, served strawberry shortcake to the loyal students who have been taking his strength and balance exercise for the past 15 years.
“It has anti-oxidants and other nutrients,” Martin said of the splurge.
His hour-long classes, offered three mornings a week at the senior center, benefit Martin as much as those who regularly attend, he said.
“I was an old man,” he said, referring to himself when he was only 77. “I had put on 20 pounds, and I wasn’t feeling all that great.”
Martin said he remembered reading somewhere that older people often fall and break bones, but that a doctor had tested seniors over a 12-week period who were actively engaged in a strength and balance exercise program. The results were dramatic.
“I decided to give it a try because I didn’t want to be one of those broken bones types,” he said. “But I also knew I wouldn’t stick to it on my own, so I went to the senior center to see if I could get some classes going. If you’ve got an obligation to other people, you’re more likely to stick to it.”
About 40 people – a mix of both women and men – attend each of Martin’s classes, unless it snows, of course, in which case only about 18 show up, he said.
Part of each class is devoted to weight training. People can start with one-pound weights and work up to 5 pounds, he said.
“It just depends on how enthusiastic they are,” he said. “I always thought men were the macho ones, but some of those little women are (determined) too – even more so,” Martin said.
Ruth Braswell, 78, said she gets a lot of benefit from Martin’s classes.
“You sure can feel it if you don’t do it, if you miss one of the classes. It has helped me a lot with balance so I don’t fall, but it’s also good to socialize,” Braswell said.
“I was recently widowed, and it’s good to get out of the house and be around other people. I think people enjoy going and being around other people. It’s good to talk and joke and have a few laughs. You really develop friendships,” she said.
Martin touts the other benefits of his classes.
“As we get older, and without activity, our muscles are replaced by fat, so we need to get some of that fat out of there and replace it with muscle,” he said.
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