East County Magazine joined The Montera in their Senior Fitness Day!
June 1, 2017 (La Mesa) — “It helps with fall prevention” said fitness instructor Eduardo Gracia of the exercises he designs for seniors at La Mesa’s The Montera-Westliving Senior Living Community. Gracia led seniors through indoor (balloon) volleyball, basketball, darts, and other activities on the 24th Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day on May 31.
“This is our second year participating in the National Senior Health & Fitness Day” said Montera’s sales & marketing manager Phil Mikelatos.
Set for the last Wednesday of May each year National Senior Health & Fitness Day is the good health partnership of public and private organizations to promote fitness among seniors.
Eduardo Gracia, who has a kinesiology degree from SDSU and a Masters from Pt. Loma Nazarene University, has introduced chair exercises, uses bands to stretch and strengthen, and leads and designs the fitness classes at Montera. He also introduced the indoor volleyball game using balloons about six months ago.
Gracia has been known to knock on all the resident’s doors to check up on their physical activities. He stated he pays attention to introducing shoulder and leg exercises to maintain stability and balance.
Lucy Patterson, 83, one of two on the winning volleyball team advised players to “Watch that ball” as a winning strategy.
In another sport basketball player Fred Kanefield (in a Golden State Warrior’s Steph Curry move) did a splash through the net shot while facing backwards that landed him two points. Shooting backwards it should count as a 3-pointer.
Juices such as orange & kiwi, lemon & cucumber, melon, and watermelon all kept the fitness participants hydrated. Staff were encouraged to wear athletic clothing for this special day.
Betty Lusk, 89, watched Mikelatos take repeated dunks in the dunk tank while residents practiced their throwing skills hitting the lever that dropped him into the water.
Emily Byerley, in her 70’s, voiced what the day is all about “It’s important to keep active.” She added about the balloon volleyball “Today was civilized. Sometimes we use two balloons and use our arms, legs, and heads to get the ball (balloon) over the net.”