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Seniors Work Out Via New Town of North Hempstead Virtual Exercise Program


For Immediate Release                                                                                                                   Contact: Collin Nash or Sid Nathan
March 22, 2011                                                                                                                                                              (516) 869-7794

Seniors Work Out Via New Town of North Hempstead Virtual Exercise Program

Newsday recently featured North Hempstead's innovative Virtual Exercise Program, Click Here to view the video.

North Hempstead, NY—It’s common knowledge that exercise is important for everyone, particularly older adults. Many seniors, however, don’t know where to begin. Turns out, the Town of North Hempstead has an innovative answer.

Under the auspices of Project Independence, the Town’s trailblazer aging in place program, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the Town Board last week unveiled what is thought to be the State’s first municipal virtual exercise program.

The program debuted Thursday, March 17 with six Project Independence members hooked up via webcam through Skype working out from their homes to an exercise routine conducted from inside Town Hall by trainer Mike Mancini.

“This is an ambitious effort which paves the way for us to engage constituents throughout the town in a variety of ways,” Supervisor Jon Kaiman said, as media and a handful of town officials, including Town Clerk Leslie Gross and Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, looked on inside the board room. “No matter your age, your health, or your fitness level, you can benefit from moving more.”

Six seniors—Hazel and Sheldon Pachman of New Hyde Park, Merill and Phoebe Goodman of Manhasset, Ilse Sander of Port Washington, Zelda Meyers of Port Washington—seated in armless chairs looked on eagerly on a big monitor, poised and ready to work out.

Mancini, who teaches yoga at a Glen Head studio, explained that the exercise routine is far less rigorous that classes he normally teaches and that the focus is to get seniors moving, thus improving their quality of life. The poses, he said, are designed to help participants focus on breathing and body alignment.

If you have arthritis, he noted, and you can get into the routine of regular movement, you can release the tightness and tension in your limbs and ultimately minimize pain.

Hazel Pachman said she’s hoping this becomes a routine in her life.

“This is something we can all benefit from,” she said.

Mancini agreed, asking the seniors looking back at him on a jumbo monitor if they had any pacemakers or other devices that may limit them.

Focusing on their breathing, Mancini told his class to take long, steady inhales and exhales.

The breathing exercises done, Mancini got his class moving.

“Bring your arms to your sides. Now raise them slowly, pressing down through your hips. That’s it, yes. Stretch out your fingers and lengthen everything in between. Now inhale and make big circles with your arms.”

The hour-long workout session over, Supervisor Kaiman noted that the virtual interaction could take other forms in the not too distant future.

“Today we did exercises but tomorrow we will do other things, such as meetings,” he said. “Through virtual reality, we will be able to have a dialogue.”

Plans are to conduct a once-weekly virtual exercise class from one of the Town’s four existing Project Independence locations.

For more information call 311.

Port Washington Seniors Ilse Sander and Zelda Meyers participate in North Hempstead’s new Virtual Exercise Program

Receiver Charles Berman, Town Clerk Leslie Gross, Supervisor Jon Kaiman along with Project Independence Senior Specialist Kristina Fennell with seniors hooked up via webcam in the background
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