Fitness Program for Retirees Exceeds Expectations

When Chris Starr, director of recreation and the Adam F. Press Fitness Center, realized that there was a demographic they weren’t reaching — CC retirees — she knew she needed to establish classes for them. Brad Raines, a former Fitness Center coordinator, started the program, and after he left, Wes Kosel, assistant director of the Fitness Center, ran with it. The functional fitness class for older adults, called Fit4Life, now takes place three days a week and has surpassed expectations. 

The program started with about five students a class and today, it ranges between 15 to 23 participants. Fit4Life focuses on four components: functional fitness, strength, endurance, and balance, but physical fitness is not the only outcome of the program.

What started as an exercise class for adults has turned into a community. While classes are usually about 40 minutes, many participants come early and stay after to continue exercising and socializing. Some students live near each other and will get together outside of Fit4Life. Upon the request of participants, Starr got matching shirts for the group.

When the in-person Fit4Life program was put on hold during the pandemic, Kosel sent weekly workout packets to the class, giving them pictures and descriptions of various exercises they could do at home, says Starr.

Eryn Murphy, assistant professor of Human Biology and Kinesiology, conducted balance and fall assessments for some class participants. During the testing, several attendees told Kosel that the paraprofessional wasn’t counting correctly. “They really care about it and want to see their improvements,” says Kosel.

Kosel notes that the oldest participant — who is 89 — is the most competitive. While the class is targeted toward retired CC faculty and staff, some current staff and alumni also participate, says Kosel. The youngest students are in their early 60s. 

Attendance is free and all workouts can be adjusted for each person’s abilities.

For more information, contact Wes Kosel at or (719) 389-6112.
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