Fitness instructor making workouts fun for older adults at Philadelphia Senior Center

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020
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Getting and staying in shape can feel like work, but one fitness instructor is making Zumba workouts fun for older adults at the Philadelphia Senior Center.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Getting and staying in shape can feel like work, but one local fitness instructor is making workouts fun for older adults.

Every Wednesday, Janet Ford gets her Zumba classes grooving at the Philadelphia Senior Center.

"Zumba is a Latin music-based cardio workout," she explained. "So I've customized it for those that are 55 and older and just want to keep it moving and have a really good time."

Ford says she only found her footing in fitness ten years ago, at age 55, after taking a Zumba class taught by her oldest daughter, Erica.

"I didn't love fitness because it seemed like a lot of work, but I always did love to dance," she said.

That passion enabled her to turn her sedentary lifestyle around - workouts no longer felt like work.

"It feels like a party and I just kept on dancing and dancing and dancing. And I saw that I started losing inches, I started feeling better. She inspired me to start teaching," said Ford.

Now she's inspiring others to stay active so they can reap the health benefits as well.

"It has reduced my blood pressure. It has increased my muscle stamina and if I have any aches and pains when I'm dancing - all I feel is energy," said Annette Froio from East Passyunk.

"The social impact of it is, is huge. There's people just like you out there that are recently retired and want to have fun and want to get fit. It's really good to be around like-minded people," said Ford.

"The music and the movements and the dancing - she inspires us and we just love the fact that she's always smiling," said Ramona G. Mapp from South Philadelphia.

"And I think she's just a wonderful teacher and you just feel great at the end of the day," said Froio.

"Seeing how the music inspires them and I'm just so glad to be able to bring that enjoyment to others. I love it and they love it," said Ford.