Center at Journey's Way offers free virtual fitness classes to keep seniors moving

In the days before COVID-19, fitness instructor Jackie Ashenfelter taught a full room at the Center at Journey's Way in Roxborough.

But now she hosts a crowded zoom meeting - focusing on mind, body, strength and flexibility.

"I encompass all of those in one workout," says Ashenfelter.

The class is called stretch and strengthen, but she also teaches enhanced fitness and SilverSneakers classes.

Ashenfelter says, "Our saying here at Journey's Way is if you don't move it, you lose it."

The nonprofit senior center is part of InterCommunity Action, which has been serving the Roxborough community for 50 years. Their work continues athough the brick and mortar doors are closed.

"It's been a new experience," says Karen Rouse, Director at the Center at Journey's Way. "Jackie's been great getting them on board."

"I can look at my phone and walk them through it," adds Ashenfelter about the 45-minute class. "We use light weights and a chair."

The virtual classes are free and accessible on the Center at Journey's Way Facebook page.

"We want everybody to be able to take advantage of it," Ashenfelter explains. "It's keeping a lot of people sane, healthy and fit."

"Jackie's classes are very special," says Rouse. "She knows the people, so it is more than exercise."

Rouse adds, "We kind of deal with the whole person - the mind, body, spirit."

Ashenfelter still celebrates the special moments, like the landmark birthday of one of her longtime class members, Helen Faton, who recently turned 90 years old.

Faton, a Germantown resident, has been taking Ashenfelter's class for about 15 years.

"I have acquired a lot of personal friendships out of the sessions," Faton says. "We have a lot of fun - I love it."

"They're great people," Ashenfelter says. "They bring a lot of joy to my life."
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