SUN CITY CENTER – Every Tuesday and Thursday a group of about 30 seniors lace up their athletic shoes and head to JSA Medical to get their bodies moving and hearts pumping. They’re part of a special Silver Sneakers program presented at the JSA facility through a partnership with the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA.
“We work their entire bodies,” said Silver Sneakers instructor Joyce Rutledge. “First we warm up, and then we use exercise tools like rubber bands, hand weights and balls to give them a complete workout.”
Rutledge said the low-impact movements used throughout the hour-long sessions mimic those participants use in active daily living – bending over, reaching, turning their heads and so on – that are kind to the joints and promote a full range of motion.
“I loved it from the first day,” said Betty Koepp, a Silver Sneakers member for more than a year. “It does wonders for me. I come two times per week and would come three, if it was offered.”
The program includes a cardio warm-up, strength training, balance work and stretching to tunes popular with the age range of the class. In Koepp’s case, that means standards like “Come Fly with Me,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Ain’t She Sweet.”
Everyone works at their own pace and is encouraged to breathe deeply and stay hydrated. There is lots of laughter.
Silver Sneakers is offered locally through JSA Medical Group and coordinated by Rosie Korfant, who schedules and supervises all activities at the facility. In addition to the YMCA program, JSA Medical offers Monday morning movies, slow-flow and chair yoga, line and salsa dancing, Wii bowling and periodic beading classes.
“People come from Gibsonton, Wimauma, Valrico – all over really,” Korfant said. “Some are referred by doctors and others come on their own. Our whole purpose is to keep people healthy by promoting healthier lifestyles.”
Toward that end, JSA Medical also offers disease management workshops presented by JSA affiliate AmeriDrug on diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and hypertension. It also hosts community events like last August’s Hurricane Expo, which was attended by 300, and its big Barbecue Bash in September that fed almost 1,000.
“JSA wants to be an integral part of every community it serves,” Korfant said, adding the company is a subsidiary of Healthcare Partners, California. “We have 55 JSA-owned clinics throughout the Southeast. And Sun City Center offers us a plethora of opportunities for involvement.”
For additional information, call (813) 419-5020 or visit www.jsahealthcare.com.