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Keeping Active and Staying Fit: Senior Programs at the Upper St. Clair Community and Recreation Center
By Kevin Brown

For many Upper St. Clair residents, it’s hard to believe that nearly ten years have passed since the opening of the township’s Community and Recreation Center (C&RC). The 90,000 square foot fitness, aquatics, recreation and community center opened in June, 2009. Situated among the 475 acres of Boyce Mayview Park, the C&RC has become a community hub offering indoor and outdoor recreational activities.

Amenities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fitness area with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, two full-size gymnasiums, a 3,600 square foot community room along with a community gathering area, group exercise studios, children’s playroom, locker rooms, and family changing rooms. The surrounding Boyce Mayview Park offers walking and nature trails.

While the C&RC caters to all ages, seniors will find the C&RC’s specially designed senior and boomer fitness, exercise and socialization programs tailored to their specific needs. Melissa Mattucci Lindberg, M.S., Marketing /Membership Services Supervisor for the C&RC, recently described the many activities for seniors and boomers.

“We have a good senior following at the C&RC and that has a lot to do with the programs we offer. We recognize that starting an exercise program as an older adult can be a difficult transition, so we offer different levels of exercise intensity from beginner to advanced. And, we offer socialization and enrichment classes as a well-rounded balance of activities for seniors,” Melissa says.

Pickleball Opportunities
Pickleball is a relatively new sport that is growing quickly in popularity among all ages, according to Melissa. “It’s becoming popular among boomer and senior populations because it can be very leisurely, but it can be very intense, too.”

“Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, ping pong and racquet ball. We play indoors in our basketball court,” she says. “Pickleball is played with a paddle, like an oversize ping pong paddle and a ball with holes in it, similar to a whiffle ball. It’s like playing badminton or tennis where you hit the ball back and forth over a net. We play doubles with two people on each side of the net.”

Melissa says that the C&RC offers three different options for pickleball play.

“On the second Monday of each month from 1:15 to 3:45 p.m., we offer a free monthly clinic for newcomers to the sport. The clinic is open to anyone who wants to try pickleball and learn what it’s all about. On the non-clinic Mondays, we offer pickleball for beginners from 1:15 to 3:45 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:15 to 3:45 p.m., we offer an open play pickleball program for anyone from beginner to advanced. Participants pay a drop-in fee of $3 per game for C&RC members or $4 for non-members. For those who play regularly, we offer a ten-game punch card at $25 for members or $35 for non-members,” she explains.

Seniors at Leisure Fridays
“The idea behind the Seniors at Leisure Fridays program is that it’s much more a social event than other programs here that are exercise-based,” Melissa says. “If you’re looking for a general wellness, socialization, get-out-of-the-house, meet-people-program, this is a really good fit.”

“We offer Art Experience on the second Fridays of the month from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Art instructor Rikki Walsh offers hands-on art activities, including watercolors, seasonal crafts, pastels, and more. We rotate through a series of art mediums, including painting, drawing, and sketching. Art materials are provided for everyone.”

“Entertainment Days are on the third Friday of the month where a movie is shown. Doors open at noon and entertainment begins at 12:30 p.m. Pizza and beverages are provided.”

“Card and Game Days on held on the fourth Friday of the month from 12:30 to 3 p.m. This is an opportunity to join with others for cards, typically a 500 card game or Mahjongg. We provide complimentary light snacks or you can bring your own,” Melissa says.

Melissa recommends that participants in the Seniors at Leisure Fridays programs call ahead to register so they can plan for space and refreshments. Also, she cautions that schedules and locations are subject to change from June through August.

Enrichment Classes
“Enrichment Classes are designed to offer learning experiences for seniors,” Melissa says. “We have three different classes scheduled between March and June.”

”Creating on Canvas will be held on Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m., March 5 to 26. Contact the Recreation Department at (412) 221-1099 for more information. A fee is charged and materials are provided,” she notes.

“American Mahjongg is scheduled to be held on Thursdays from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., from March 7 to 28. Contact the Recreation Department at (412) 221-1099 for more information. A fee is charged,” she says.

“Driver Education for Older Drivers (55 years of age and over) is a four-hour Driver Improvement Refresher Course presented by instructors from Seniors for Safe Driving. The course will be offered on one day only ¬- Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact Seniors for Safe Driving at (800) 559-4880 for more information and to register,” says Melissa.

Fitness Classes
“The Fitness Classes are geared toward seniors and offer different levels of physical exercise, from T’ai Chi and Chair Yoga to a more aggressive Boomer Bootcamp that is a full workout for younger seniors,” says Melissa.

“Gentle Movement is based on guidelines set by the Arthritis Foundation and is a gentle, yet effective water class that takes place in both the shallow and deep ends of the pool. This class focuses on range of motion exercises for the joints and improving stamina and flexibility/ balance in a very safe, low impact environment,” Melissa explains. Classes are held on Mondays from 11 to 11:45 a.m. and Fridays from 10 to 10:45 a.m.

“Water Walking is a great alternative for seniors who frequently walk indoors or outdoors. Participants in this class will use a variety of aerobic movements to push against the water’s natural resistance,” Melissa notes. Classes are held on Mondays and Fridays from 9 to 9:30 a.m.

“Zumba Gold uses the same exciting Latin and International dance rhythms created in the original Zumba workout. Zumba Gold is geared toward the active older adult, the beginner participant, anyone who thinks they ‘cannot dance’, yet is also wonderful for the seasoned Zumba participant who wants to improve their dance ability or brush up on their technique,” Melissa says. Classes are held on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon.

“Senior Fit is a lower level training class that is designed for seniors to increase stamina, strength, range of motion in joints, and muscular flexibility in a fun and safe environment. Participants use small weights, exercise balls, and stretching bands and can exercise standing or in a chair,” she explains. Classes are held on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

“Boomer Bootcamp is a higher level exercise class specifically designed for the younger senior. The class format varies daily and includes weight training for strength and balance, stretching for flexibility and cardio for hearts – this is a fun class!” says Melissa. Classes are held on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m.

“Boomer Boxing is for those who are interested in learning the sport of boxing. Classes consist of drills involving footwork, technique and sparring,” she says. Classes are held on Mondays from 2:05 to 3:05 p.m. and Thursdays from 1:05 to 2:05 p.m. Both days’ classes are held in Studio 2.

“T’ai Chi is designed for health, balance and mental fitness. This class is a Chinese martial art form of meditative exercise, characterized by methodically slow circular and stretching movements, and positions of bodily balance,” Melissa explains. All fitness levels are welcome. Classes are held on Mondays from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 11:35 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

“Chair Yoga is a gentle, 45-minute class suited for those who prefer not to be down on the floor. Chair Yoga offers a well-rounded variety of yoga poses, breath-work and relaxation designed to leave you feeling stronger, more flexible, calmer, and energized,” Melissa notes. “Yoga poses are done seated in a chair or standing, using the chair to help with support and balance.” Classes are held on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Melissa adds that the C&RC is surrounded by many flat, paved walking and biking trails in Boyce Mayview Park. “This is a comfortable, safe environment for seniors to enjoy the outdoors while exercising. We also have picnic shelters and a playground, so it’s a great place to bring the grandkids and spend the day,” she says.

She says the C&RC offers very reasonable one-year memberships for seniors at $32 a month for township residents and $42 a month for non-residents.

For more information about senior programs at the C&RC, visit www.twpusc.org/crc or call the C&RC at (412) 221-1099.

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