By Jordan Parker
Peggy Willman stands at the front of the class with a big smile on her face, proud of the progress her exercise group faithfuls are making.
She puts them through a rigorous routine, including but not limited to walking, body movements and dancing that will keep them fit, active and stretching all their muscles.
George Strait’s classic All My Exes Live In Texas sets the tone and tempo as the women sweat off the calories and have a great time with their fellow community members.
As old-time country blasts and everyone smiles, the room in the Seniors Community Hall in Gull Lake has a distinctive, upbeat tone.
“We applied for a grant, and we had to bring new things to our hall as a part of that. So we brought in an exercise program,” said Willman.
“We have to be fit. We exercise and then we have coffee. It’s very good for the seniors to visit with each other and spend time.”
But she stops short of saying the exercise group is just for seniors.
“We take young and old, and we just want everyone to feel welcome to come out. We have really nice turnouts,” she said.
Donna Holtby says that when the seniors centre applied for renovation grants, they had to show the hall would be accessible to a large group, and the improvement was warranted.
“We had to make sure it was available to lots of groups. So there’s the exercise group and line dancing,” she said.
“Every time we get a grant, we want to promote something and bring it to a wide audience.
“The wider the age spread, the more groups we serve, the more likely we are to get the money for things like the roof, furnace and air conditioning.”
Willman says the exercise group has been very positive.
“People are very happy to have something to do. It’s a year-round thing, and I even add line dancing to it. I’m really happy to bring this to people.”