Community Herald: Get the ‘get-up’ muscles with older adult fitness

Sandy Johnson (purple T-shirt) actively participates in Norma Hustins’ older adult fitness classes in Sackville three times a week and says, “it’s never too late to get active, whether you’re 55 or 85-years-old.”
Sandy Johnson (purple T-shirt) actively participates in Norma Hustins’ older adult fitness classes in Sackville three times a week and says, “it’s never too late to get active, whether you’re 55 or 85-years-old.”

“It’s the best kept secret in Sackville,” says Ruth Baxter (73), lifting her quads and pumping her arms inwards and outwards during Norma J. Hustins older adult fitness class.

Baxter, crippled by a virus a few years ago, says she feels better when she does the classes. “Anyone can do it … there are women here between 50 and 80-years-old.”

Joan Richardson says she was skeptical she wouldn't be able to do the exercises having lost part of her leg to cancer. "I can do almost everything here."
Joan Richardson says she was skeptical she wouldn’t be able to do the exercises having lost part of her leg to cancer. “I can do almost everything here.”

Foot cancer caused Joan Richardson to have her leg amputated below the knee almost 20-years-ago. Richardson lives in Bedford and began the older adult fitness classes in 2012. She says she was skeptical she wouldn’t be able to do the exercises. “I can do almost everything here,” she says, not missing a beat while Hustins belts out instructions to 50 women at Stone Ridge Fellowship in Sackville.

“She does a lot of arm exercises and lot of working the big muscle in the rear, so you can get yourself up off of chairs … its good for seniors because you need to be able to get yourself up and be able to walk well,” says Richardson.

Norma J. Hustins leads a class of more than 50 older adult women and says "You're never to old to move your body ... you're never to old to do something to help maintain your independence."
Norma J. Hustins leads a class of more than 50 older adult women and says “You’re never to old to move your body … you’re never to old to do something to help maintain your independence.”

Hustins has taught this group of women for eight years and says she saw a need to get older adults moving. “It’s fun, it’s social, but the key factor is all of this is helping women maintain their independence,” says Hustins, a nutritional consultant and older adult fitness instructor.

“Once we lose our get-up muscles, we lose our independence.” She says she works the ladies hard, focusing on range of motion and balance exercises.

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Hustins class takes place Mon., Wed., and Fri. mornings at 11 a.m. at Stone Ridge Fellowship in Sackville.

For information on classes at Sackville Seniors Centre call 902-864 5591 or email kenmark20@hotmail.com.