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EIU Media Relations

Workshops to Help Leaders Teach Fitness Activities to Older Adults


A national organization is bringing two one-day workshops to Eastern Illinois University to help community volunteers and senior activity directors teach fitness and functional activity to older adults.

The workshops -- "Guidelines for Physical Activity for Older Adults" and "Balance, Mobility and Fall Prevention" -- are designed for individuals who work with older adults in senior centers, senior-living facilities, churches, park districts, fitness centers, etc.

No prior experience in leading exercise is needed. The courses will include a balance of activity, instruction and practice.

"Participants will have the skills to go beyond the typical 'arm-waving exercises' so often seen in retirement homes and senior centers," said workshop coordinator Phyllis Croisant, a professor in kinesiology and sport studies at EIU. "The workshops are fun, challenging and rewarding for both participants and leaders."

The Feb. 15 workshop, "Guidelines for Physical Activity for Older Adults," will equip participants with skills needed to set up and lead group exercise sessions for older adults. Exercises include standing and seated options for strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and functional fitness.

The Feb. 16 workshop, "Balance, Mobility and Fall Prevention," will train exercise leaders to teach balance and fall-prevention programs -- including fall-risk education and specific strength, balance and mobility routines -- for all levels of ability in older adults.

The workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Lantz Building at EIU.

Registration deadline is Feb. 1. Registration forms may be printed out at

The cost for each workshop -- $120, or $35 for EIU students -- includes workbooks with all materials presented, samples of suggested paperwork (screening forms, advertising, assessments, etc.), and an instructional DVD showing all exercise sets. Participants will also receive a certificate of completion.

Although these workshops have been offered by the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation for a decade, this is the first time they've been offered in central Illinois, Croisant said.

The classes -- both part of a "Training and Encouraging Senior Activity" series -- were developed by AAPAR's Council on Aging and Adult Development, which Croisant chaired from 2005 to 2007. She is now on the AAPAR's board of directors.

The instructors will include Croisant; Pommy Macfarlane, a professor at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb; and Eva Montee, a fitness/wellness instructor from Madras, Ore.

The workshops are being hosted by EIU's kinesiology and sport studies department and master's in gerontology program.

For more information, please contact Croisant at 217-581-7596 or



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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