Seniors are moving to the lyrics, "Friday night I crashed your party, Saturday I said I'm sorry" from
With a song list that includes "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," the
"The class is a social outlet," said Sally Ransom Knecht, a group coordinator. "Our purpose is getting fit but also developing relationships and caring for one another."
In addition to an hourlong class led by aerobics instructor Denise Evans, members of Fit for Life gather for pool parties, holiday breakfasts and luncheons.
"The interaction is important, and so is the physical aspect," said Audrey Vieser. "We have dedicated members."
Some of those members have been with the group for over a decade.
Sponsored by GBMC for the last 16 years, Fit for Life previously was held at several locations including Towson Town Center. Those locations ended their partnership with the program because of financial reasons, leaving the Shops at Kenilworth in Towson as the group's sole exercise space.
"This is the only free program of its kind that we know of," Knecht said. "Some of our members went to the other locations, but we're all one family now."
Who's in the group: About 30 men and women, ages 65-95.
A typical class: The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Following warm-ups, the group begins a fast-paced workout built on simple movements. Members side-step and circle their arms to
"I keep up with the world of fitness and try to incorporate different aerobics," Evans said. "But I stress to the group to do only what they can. It's not a competition."
To develop strength and balance, Evans has the group do a half-hour of stretching and weightlifting to finish the workout.
"It's a comprehensive routine," said Thomas Gigliotti. "It helps with flexibility, strength and form."
Some members meet for coffee after each session, and mall manager Brenda Artis usually stops by to chat.
"The retailers and myself really enjoy having the GMBC participants at the center," she said. "I enjoy all the friendly hellos in the morning, seeing them have coffee after their workout, and I love their holiday cards."
Why people like it: "I see a physical difference when I come to class and when I don't," said Marty Strumm.
The seniors say the aerobics keep their motor skills sharp and their health intact.
"I like the class because it keeps me healthy and disease-free," said Pearl Hsi, who attends the class with her husband.
If a member misses class because of illness or personal conflict, the group sends a sympathy card or note.
"This is a caring group," Knecht said. "Many of our members live alone, so the exercise and the social activities are good for their age sustainability."