Library hosts seminar on keeping the aging body active safely

·2 min read

Aug. 12—C. Burr Artz Public Library in Frederick hosted a seminar on Thursday about "Exercise Basics for Older Adults," presented by personal trainer Katrina Wolf.

Wolf talked about why exercise is important as people age, and how to do it safely.

Sisters Marian Williams and Cathleen McLoughlin, both in their 80s, attended the event.

Before falling during an exercise class in November 2018, Williams had been active, she said.

While she didn't fracture her hip when she fell, Williams felt herself getting progressively stiffer as she healed.

"You get constipated because you're not moving as much. So every time I went to the doctor, I had that problem of constipation. It was embarrassing," Williams said.

She got in touch with Wolf about becoming more active. But they could not follow through together because of the pandemic, Williams said.

When she saw Wolf's name in the newspaper, she knew she wanted to attend the seminar.

McLoughlin lives in New York, and came to Worman's Mill to visit her sister and encourage her to start doing exercises like pilates. McLoughlin said she worries about her sister.

The seminar showed how older people can work against aging and keep themselves healthy using exercise. McLoughlin thought it was well-presented and made good points.

"You can see how frail she is. ... A program like this gives you inspiration that you're not so passive. There are things you can do to improve your condition," McLoughlin said.

McLoughlin said she appreciated that Wolf wasn't trying to sell a product or a quick fix, McLoughlin said.

Williams currently has to use a cane or a walker to move around outside her home, which often gives her a hunched-over posture, McLoughlin said. This position can cause problems with flexibility and balance, Wolf explained in her presentation.

Williams doesn't like having to use her walker or her cane, and has been working on walking longer distances with less support, she said.

She also thought the seminar could be useful for a relative whose wife has Parkinson's Disease. Her relative serves as the primary caretaker for his wife, and asked Williams about Village Crossing, an assisted living facility in Worman's Mill.

Having someone from Wolf's company, Age Well Senior Fitness, could help the couple, Williams said.

McLoughlin and Williams are planning to implement some practices that Wolf talked about.

McLoughlin is a big fan of YouTube and loves the idea of doing exercises in her own home, she said.

Williams plans to connect with one of Wolf's coworkers to have someone who can help her focus on exercise, even when things get hard.

"I would try to do whatever they're [instructing] me to do and persist with it. I think that's important because it's so easy to say I'll do it tomorrow," Williams said.