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For Federal Way seniors, active living is healthy living
It's mid-afternoon and a boisterous group of senior citizens are boot scootin' at the community center.
Participants are part of a drop-in line dancing class for seniors at the Federal Way Community Center. Just like any other age group, it's important for seniors to stay active. Fortunately, Federal Way offers plenty of opportunities for older generations to get some exercise — and get to know their community.
The community center, located at 876 S. 333rd St., and Federal Way Senior Center, located at 4016 S. 352nd St., are good places to get started.
Staying physically active is important for seniors, said Kimberly Shelton, the community center's fitness coordinator. It helps an aging population maintain bone density and balance, among other things, she said.
Federal Way Community Center
The community center, in its third year of operation, continues to present activities for everyone, senior citizens included. Classes and outings geared toward this population are aplenty.
Currently, 10.9 percent of the community center's pass holders hold an individual senior pass and 3.8 percent of members have a "senior plus one" pass, according to information provided by community center supervisor Doug Nelson. The center employs a senior coordinator to make sure activities are well-rounded.
Group pool exercises are a hit among the older generations. So too is the center's walking class, Shelton said. The community center's "Sit and Fit" class offers a creative take on exercise. The class lends itself to low-impact movement for limited mobility individuals and incorporates wheelchairs into the action. A new program, called "Enhanced Fitness," begins next month and focuses on cardio, strength, balance and flexibility for seniors. The community center also provides both tai chi and yoga.
Other happenings consist of day outings near and far: Think Skagit Valley during the annual tulip season, Northwest Trek, the state capitol and Leavenworth, trips to local casinos, scenic drives and art viewing. Some gatherings last only a few hours, while others span a weekend.
"Our focus is to provide programs for everyone," Shelton said.
Federal Way Senior Center
The senior center has long been a staple for entertainment and company. Bingo, lunch, dancing, sock hops, pinochle, card games, crafts, computer classes, day trips and robust walks and hikes are just a few activities available through the senior center.
The center also provides unique opportunities to mentor a Federal Way student, help at the center's food bank, get dirty in the community garden or try one's skill at the Nintendo Wii video gaming system.
"Our group of seniors don't want to come and sit down," senior center manager Rusty Ford said. "They want to go do stuff."
Many of the seniors who regularly visit the senior center are drawn to helping in the community rather than sitting around, Ford said.
"We're very very active," he said.
• Federal Way Community Center: Located at 876 S. 333rd St. Contact senior coordinator David Schmidt at (253) 835-6925l, e-mail Schmidt at David.Schmidt@cityoffederalway.com or visit the center's Web site at www.itallhappenshere.org to learn more about upcoming activities.
• Federal Way Senior Center: Located at 4016 S. 352nd St. Contact the senior center at (253) 838-3604 or visit its Web site at www.federalwayseniorcenter.org to learn more about upcoming activities.