|Seniors make Gilruth a health haven
A group of NASA and contractor retirees and their regularly make the Gilruth their health and fitness haven. Karly Charles-Pierre, M.A., works with the group advising, assisting and making recommendations for their exercise regimen under the supervision of Dr. Larry Weir, M.A., Ed.D.
Senior exercise workout participants at Johnson Space
Center’s Health and Fitness Center, from left to right: Charles
Wheelwright, Hank Flagg, Kenneth Borkert, Tim White, Liz
Jezeweski, Robert Frost and Dianne Battaglia.
These seniors not only work out about three to five times per week at two to three hours per session, but also enjoy other benefits of being at the Gilruth such as getting to meet with other retirees, free group exercise classes that are offered, free nutritional counseling and fitness assessments. They normally take advantage of a less crowded gym during the non-peak hours, which are (TIMES). For most of them, the Gilruth is also close to home, limiting their amount of travel.
Charles-Pierre explained that a regular exercise regimen helps the lives of these seniors in several ways: exercise does their bodies good, lowers stress levels, increases endorphins and lowers symptoms that can cause mild depression and anxiety. Yoga provides relaxation techniques, and regular exercise helps with weight management and better sleep. It also provides an opportunity to blow off steam after a stressful day or event, boosts confidence to improve self esteem, manages high blood pressure or better balance between HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol), burns more calories and helps them be more fit to keep up with their grandkids.
“I have to stay in shape, and they are excellent,” said 82-year-old Ken Borkert, a senior who frequently uses the Gilruth exercise facility.
Borkert said what he enjoys most is building a relationship with the trainers and the various types of exercise equipment available. He said he has been a regular “for as long as the Gilruth has existed,” and he plans to keep coming so hecan “last for many more years.”
“Mr. Borkert comes to the gym at least five days a week unless he has a doctor’s appointment,” Charles-Pierre said. “It is a great honor to recognize Mr. Borkert for his dedication to exercise. Since he’s been exercising, he’s been moving and getting around better. His self-motivation along with a simple program I designed specifically for him has helped him regain his independence and mobility. Mr. Borkert is an inspiration to all of us here at the Gilruth Starport Gym.”
Johnson Space Center, Houston