Denise Austin visited Sun City Carolina Lakes Tuesday, offering residents fitness advice on healthy aging and conducting two outdoor fitness classes geared specifically toward seniors.
The appearance was the first stop on Rite Aid’s national tour promoting its new Wellness 65+ program, which offers free health screenings, pharmacist consultations and in-store discounts for senior customers. During the class, participants learned to use and were sent home with resistance bands and weights from Austin’s line of Forever Fit gear. Residents also had access to a health fair where they could chat individually with a pharmacist, get medication consultations, and have preventative screenings for blood pressure, diabetes risk and COPD.
Sun City resident Janis Yarde appreciated the experience and said seniors need to be more aware of how important being active is to their health
“I’m really into fitness,” she said. “What a special thing to have Denise Austin here. She’s such a great person.”
The retired physical education teacher from New Hampshire loves the opportunities to stay active in Sun City – tennis, pickle ball, swimming, golf, a full gym and classes for every kind of fitness.
“This is a place that offers so many options,” Yarde said. “There’s no excuse for anyone to live here and not participate in some physical activities.”
Deborah Groux was curious about the event and stopped by for the second workout session. She had subscribed to “Prevention” magazine and enjoyed reading Denise Austin’s articles there and she hoped to glean some nuggets of wisdom from the fitness icon.
“I’m open to the possibilities,” she said.
Austin, a former gymnast and the sister-in-law of Tracy Austin, who was a top professional tennis player in the 1970s, earned her degree in exercise physiology and now works in partnership with Rite Aid to promote healthy lifestyles. During the Tuesday classes, she recommended a “three-pronged” attack for seniors to keep fit: good cardio, good, eating, and good exercising.
“I only work out for 30 minutes, but I do it every day,” Austin said. “Keep it up. Fitness isn’t stored; only fat is. You are how you are by your own heritage about 40 percent, and the rest is up to you.”
Mixing it up is key, but the main thing is just to move more, she said.
“You can do this in the car, in your golf carts – anywhere,” Austin told the seniors during her first class.
“Think of your day as a course of 16 waking hours. Think about how active you can be in those 16 hours.”