What the senior center means to me
I have made many new friends and have enjoyed much conversation at the Central Area Senior Center over the years since 1997. What has enriched me most is the exercise program.
Starting on the patio at 9am, three times a week, we begin with warm-ups and move on to flexibility and balance exercises, all while enjoying a million-dollar view of Lake Washington and the mountains beyond, stretching from the sight of downtown Bellevue, Mercer Island, the I-90 Bridge, and Mount Rainier. We see this view in many forms: still water, subtle reflections, or choppy, foggy, misty, mountains behind clouds and in front—it is a constantly changing panorama day-to-day.
Inside, we do strength exercises and more stretching and balance, and then we take a 20-minute walk through the neighborhood with walking companions (another chance for chatting and making friends). When we return, we do our final stretches and some coordination exercises.
Afterwards, we can stay for coffee klatch at 10, another chance to socialize with other seniors.
The exercise program was expressly designed by Group Health Cooperative and the UW to meet the conditioning needs of senior citizens. Besides addressing general health, the exercises anticipate preventive conditioning to reduce falls or the results of falls, to keep the core muscles toned to be able to more easily get up, and to keep mentally alert and ready to react to unexpected changes. The Center has offered the program for more than 20 years and has received national recognition for quality.
Seniors, if you want to keep fit, this program is for you. The Center is virtually at your doorstep.