Linda Deaton (right) and Connie Schmit work out Tuesday morning during a SilverSneakers class at Jay Community Center. The classes, for those 55 and older, meet each Tuesday and Thursday and focus on exercises using free weights, resistance bands and balls to help seniors with balance and agility. (The Commercial Review/Samm Quinn)
Linda Deaton (right) and Connie Schmit work out Tuesday morning during a SilverSneakers class at Jay Community Center. The classes, for those 55 and older, meet each Tuesday and Thursday and focus on exercises using free weights, resistance bands and balls to help seniors with balance and agility. (The Commercial Review/Samm Quinn)
 “I smile all the time because I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.”
“I’m very good at telling stories over and over and over and over.”
“I’m a walking storeroom of facts, the problem is I lost the key to the storeroom.”
Those are jokes seniors participating in the SilverSneakers class at Jay Community Center heard from instructor Dave Wade at the conclusion of  their Tuesday session.
These seniors may have trouble hearing and remembering, but they are dedicated to staying active.
The class meets at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for about 45 minutes, and participants are moving the entire time.
Senior outreach coordinator Jaime Wagner said the class aims to help community members 55 and older stay active.
“We do a variety of different things. We work on balance and agility, daily movements that they might use in their daily activities … mainly to keep seniors physically fit, active and able to do all their daily activities that they want to do,” she said.
Using free weights, resistance bands and balls, seniors are able to strengthen their balance and agility, which wane with age.
These activities help seniors open cans and bottles, put on their coats and reach back, which are daily activities most young people don’t have to struggle with, Wagner said.
It’s encouraged that seniors do 30 minutes of exercise five times a week and weight lifting twice a week to help build muscle mass and keep metabolism from slowing too much.
Between 20 and 40 seniors participate in the SilverSneakers class each week, and it’s offered free of charge.
As part of a program, also called SilverSneakers, seniors who qualify can attend the exercise program and get a fitness center membership for free.
In addition to those programs, the community center offers a variety of other activities for those 55 and older, including ping pong, corn hole, wood carving, knitting, pickleball and a few other classes focused on exercise.
“Besides all the benefits they get from exercise classes and all other classes that aren’t exercise, the socialization is big,” Wagner said. “It helps them to meet people, it gets them out of the house and they make new friends.
“That’s a huge aspect of it, probably even bigger than the exercising.”
For Sue Rager, 63, the socialization is the best part of participating in activities at the community center.
She participates to stay fit, limber and flexible, and being active has made a difference.
“Just in everyday living it helps me to move and keep doing the things I used to be able t o do when I was young,” Rager said.
Don and Diana Collins, 69 and 68 respectively, have been attending the class for a few years. Though they used to frequently walk at the community center, they didn’t join the class until someone encouraged them to do so.
They also enjoy the fellowship because “everyone is real nice and friendly,” Don said. And Wade makes it easy for seniors to keep up with the program.
“It’s easy and it keeps you mobile, and you’ve got to keep moving or you get stiff,” Don said. “It makes a difference.”
“We try to stay active as much as we can,” said Diana.