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Seniors enter the new year stretching and toning

Forest Grove's Sue Groszmann 'jokes, plays' with her class members

Photo Credit: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Instructor Sue Groszmann uses a variety of exercise equipment while leading a group of seniors through a Stretch & Tone class at Fitness 1440 in Forest Grove.For 10 years, Sue Groszmann has been teaching senior exercise classes in Forest Grove — and she’s still at it.

Groszmann’s passion for instructing the 65 and over set started when the now-defunct Forest Grove Health and Fitness opened in 2005.

“I have carried many of the members through the changes, from the original site to the Methodist church facility, to Forest Grove Dance Arts and now to our permanent home Fitness 1440,” said Groszmann.

Fitness 1440 is located in the same space Forest Grove Health & Fitness used to occupy at 2329 Pacific Ave. Groszmann’s classes — called Stretch & Tone — are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 and 10:15 a.m.

They draw between 18 and 25 people on a typical weekday.

“Fitness 1440 has been approved by Silver Sneakers and Silver&Fit [health program designations] for senior members to attend for free,” said Groszmann, noting that fees are paid by attendees’ insurance programs. “Thankfully, more Insurance companies are realizing the value of keeping seniors fit and healthy.

“Research that shows that as more people are living longer, keeping them healthier is important.”

For Groszmann, it isn’t a stretch to understand the unique needs of older people when it comes to exercise. “As I am also a senior citizen with natural aging problems, I can empathize with those in my class, feeling their aches and pains, their abilities and disabilities as they change from day to day.”

Groszmann tailors her classes for all to enjoy.

“We stretch, bend, walk and work on balance to keep our bodies moving and thus feeling better,” she said. “We have members with physical problem of all types and work together, doing what we can, and not doing what we can’t. Many see positive changes in their condition.” Photo Credit: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Warm-up exercises are part of Groszmanns routine as she gently puts senior citizens -- ranging in age from 60 to 90 -- through their paces three times a week.

Her certifications speak for themselves: Silver Sneakers, Silver&Fit, Arthritis Association, Tai Chi and CPR. Groszmann is also a member of the American Sports and Fitness Association.

“I originally taught water aerobics after my retirement and moved on to senior fitness in 2005,” she said. It’s been a good path for her.

“I love my class and the members. We listen to each other, care about each other and share life’s sadnesses and joys with each other,” Groszmann said. “We laugh a lot, joke and play.”

For more information about Groszmann’s senior fitness classes, visit fitness1440.com/forest-grove or call 503-746-7819.

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