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Exercise earns seniors healthy heart, award



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Keeping fit are (from left) Macie Hegwood, Vauna Kukkola, Alfred Bone. (click for larger version)
May 19, 2010 - A group of seniors at Campbell's Personal Care Home of Lakeville in Addison Township recently received an award for their diligence in exercising.

The American Heart Association honored three seniors, 88-year-old Alfred Bone, 87-year-old Macie Hegwood and 76-year-old Vauna Kukkola with a certificate with their name on it.

The certificate read "For their continuing work to stay healthy and to keep their hearts healthy through exercise."

They spend 30 minutes, two or three times a week working out with Feeling Good Exercise Company, located in Leonard.

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Patricia Robinson, who helped found Feeling Good, has been working with this group and another group of residents at an adult care home in Clarkston for the past six years, with the average age being somewhere between 80 and 100-years-old.

"These are the most fragile ones," she said. "The worst thing is they don't get that mental and physical stimuli, which causes them to stare at walls and pretty soon they don't recognize anybody or anything."

Feeling Good Exercise Company's name was created as a result of seniors coming up to Robinson and telling her that they felt good after exercising or that the only time they felt good was after exercising.

During their workouts, the seniors do 15 minutes of range of motion exercises before spending 15-25 minutes playing kickball, hot potato, throwing bean bags, working with stretch bands and using shakers.

"It really pays off because they are not stiff and sore afterwards.

"The one thing about this exercise program is that their routine stays the same. When it is time to exercise, they know exactly what they are going to be doing," Robinson explained. "We don't change off of this or off of that. We might change the music out and we use different equipment like bells and stuff like that, but the routine always stays the same."

Robinson noted that the most rewarding part was that during her time working with the senior citizens, she has never had an exerciser fail to recognize someone they love.

"The biggest thing about having an elderly person at home is keeping them stimulated in body, mind and soul so they can live a quality life right up to the end of their life," Robinson said.

Robinson said that the honorees should be used as an example when it comes to exercising.

"They are a good example for our younger generation because at this age, if they can exercise to stay healthy, then others can," she said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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