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Cortez Recreation Center celebrates SilverSneakers week

A SilverSneakers exercise class warms up in 2010.

The city of Cortez, Cortez Recreation Center and Cortez SilverSneakers program will celebrate SilverSneakers week on Oct. 23 through 27, according to a news release from the city.

The weeklong celebration will recognize 25 years of SilverSneakers as a nationwide fitness program for seniors. Cortez SilverSneakers will be doing special promotions all week, including prize drawings for current participants and new opportunities to sign up for newcomers, along with other special events.

Starting in 2009, Cortez’s program director, Rayna Hale, spent about a year training to establish a SilverSneakers program at the rec center. She had previously run a senior fitness program in Telluride for about 15 years, according to the release.

Hale said about 10 people attended the first class in Cortez on March 1, 2010, but the program quickly outgrew the activity room where it began and moved to the rec center gym. As it continued to gain popularity, Hale received more training in order to offer a wider variety of classes.

Soon the rec center was offering classes five days a week and needed to add another instructor to help Hale carry the load.

Now, about 75 people attend each Tuesday and Thursday class, while other classes throughout the week draw between 20 and 30 participants.

Hale estimated there are about 300 participants in the program overall.

“The opportunity to help our citizens stay healthy and continue to get up and move and exercise as they grow older is so much fun,” she said. “There is nothing better than seeing all these folks keeping up with a healthy, active, lifestyle as they age. We also could not have taken on this endeavor years ago without the full support of the city of Cortez and the Cortez Recreation Center.”

Registration is always open.

For more information, contact the Cortez Recreation Center at 970-564-4080 and ask for Rayna Hale.

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