After stumbling across an ad on craigslist, CrossFit Salem owner Andy Bolliger succeeded in developing a fitness program designed to help seniors improve quality of life.
Square dancing was their favorite. But as Bonnie Johnson aged, her balance became unreliable. She began using a walker. Square dancing with her husband, Norman, was no longer possible. In summer 2014, the couple moved in to Hidden Lakes, a senior-living community in Salem, Oregon. Both Norman and Bonnie used walkers to stay mobile.
“She was falling over when she moved in,” said Joyce Fowlkes, enrichment coordinator at Hidden Lakes.
That changed after the couple began attending 30-minute exercise classes twice a week. After a few months, Bonnie was able to occasionally forego her walker in favor of her cane. Even 88-year-old Norman, who growled every time his wife made him go to the fitness classes, saw notable improvements in his mobility.
The Johnsons are among several Hidden Lakes residents who have improved their strength, balance and flexibility since the 30-minute fitness class started on Oct. 1, 2014.
“I definitely have noticed a major difference,” Fowlkes said.
That difference was Andy Bolliger, owner of CrossFit Salem. Over the course of his time at Hidden Lakes, he’s come to develop an exercise program tailored for the elderly.
“It’s the best (senior exercise) program I’ve seen as far as I’m concerned,” said Fowlkes, who has worked in the senior-living business for 17 years.
Other languages: Spanish