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She’s moving: Palmer will bring YMCA experience to COA fitness classes

WESTFIELD — Carol Palmer is joining the Westfield Council on Aging staff this fall as group exercise instructor, leading two fitness classes, twice a week.

“Carol joins the Westfield Senior Center staff with years of experience,” said Tina Gorman, executive director of the Senior Center. “Her breadth of knowledge in the fields of both fitness and gerontology is extensive.”

Carol Palmer has joined the Westfield Council on Aging staff as group exercise instructor. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Gorman added that Palmer’s energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude are “infectious.”

“She will be an enormous asset to our senior center,” said Gorman, noting Palmer had offered Channel 15 and YouTube classes during the summer, as well as classes “under the tent” in the Senior Center parking lot.

“I wanted to offer Carol’s Totally FUN Fitness class indoors as a replacement to our very popular Keep It Moving class,” said Gorman, adding that class is no longer on the fitness schedule. “We want those participants to have an alternative option.”

Palmer, who started the Active Older Adult classes at the YMCA of Greater Westfield many years ago, is eager to begin this new series.

“I so love working with the senior population, and always did,” said Palmer. “I started the classes at the Y when I was in my 40s, and now I’m in my 70s, so I’m proud to say I’m one of them and cannot wait to teach at the Senior Center.”

Beginning on Sept. 28, Palmer’s classes will be offered twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., and from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Classes will be taught in six-week sessions for a total of 12 classes per session. The cost is $35 per session.

Curbside registration for Palmer’s class will be conducted Sept. 9 at 2 p.m., and each participant may only sign up for himself or herself. A non-participant may sign up on behalf of someone who wishes to take the class, but cannot register in person at the designated date and time.

Persons registering for the class are asked to put the exact amount of money or a check made out to the Westfield Council on Aging in an envelope, and on the outside of the envelope, print one’s name, phone number, and preferred session to attend.

“This is a small price to pay for a full-body workout that is geared to entry-level older adults,” said Palmer. “If we advance, one of the two classes will be a bit more intense but still very low impact.”

Palmer added her “best advice” to seniors is to keep moving.

“If this class is good for you, great,” she said. “If not, please consider one of the other choices on the schedule.”

Fitness classes also planned this fall include:

  • Chair Yoga with Teri Somers, Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:15-3 p.m. on Sept. 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29, Oct. 4, 6, 13 and 18. $30 for series and payment must be paid in advance.
  • Chair Yoga with Teri Somers, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:15 p.m., on Sept. 14, 16, 23, 28, 30, Oct. 5, 7, 12, 14, and 19. $30 for series and payment must be paid in advance.
  • Male Call! with Michelle Urbanski, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8-9 a.m. $5 on a pay-as-you-go basis and advance registration is required. Call 413-562-6435 to register for the month.
  • Zumba Gold classes with Becca Perron are tentatively scheduled to begin later this fall.

“Please note that because of COVID protocols, the number of participants in the fitness room is limited,” said Gorman.

Gorman noted that all participants using the fitness room for classes are required to change their footwear before walking on the hardwood floor. Also, all Senior Center participants must sign a liability release and usage agreement.

“The fitness room door will remain locked until the fitness instructor is on-site,” said Gorman, noting this policy protects the liability of the instructor.

For Palmer, she is counting the days until her classes start.

“I found that while I thoroughly enjoy my retirement years, I missed the joy of associating with my peeps, seeing their smiling faces and making a difference in their lives,” she said.

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