Clearly, men are in the minority. In the three OHI exercise classes a week at Berger Center, only 9% of the attendees are male. When a man comes for the first time, he might feel outnumbered, out-aerobicized by what has been labeled the “fairer’ sex. Or not.

Last week, one newcomer admitted his extensive gardening wasn’t gaining him much success with overall body fitness so, he “thought I’d give this class a try.” He jumped right in, high-kicking, bending, reaching and jiving with JoRene and her musical leadership. He worked up a sweat and an engaging grin. “I’ll be back,” he vowed.

That’s what happens. Gathering with a group of people who are intent on keeping the physical moving, who begin each session with stiffness and aches, who slowly warm up, heat up, increase heart rate and cool down to gentle stretches to oh so cool music is a gift Oakmont Health Initiative offers. Why wouldn’t you join? Men and women, parity, in person.

Already hooked to classes are four men who agree that “once you get that the idea is not to be perfect, but to be present.” Richard comes because of the “excellent ‘total body work-out’.” He thinks “most guys are initially intimidated by the ‘dance beat moves’ aspect.” Gary says at first he was intimidated because he “was always out of step.” Then he adds: “But, looking around I saw that JoRene likes to mix things up. At times, many (students) are out of step.” But he sees the positive of having a regular routine. “Fewer decisions needed: class starts at 9:00 so that’s the time to exercise.” So, he shows up, avoiding the question, “Where were you?”

A long time disciplined exerciser, Stephen states,“aerobics is beneficial for both men and women.” Richard agrees and adds, “The OHI classes include cardio, balance, core training light weights and stretching. Amazingly, all of these health benefits in a one hour class’.” Troy appreciates “using brain with body, simultaneously, in a safe way.”

Out-going and amiable, Troy says the added benefit of coming to classes is “meeting folks I don’t otherwise come in contact with.” He should know, “In an aerobic class, 1986, I met his wonderful wife.”

For love, for longevity, for overall wellness, tune in to your physical and mental fitness by joining other men and women who focus on the same quality of life. Just be certain you begin at your individual level, taking care to check with health provider if you’ve been away from aerobics for a while. Wear the right shoes, drink plenty of water, come with a smile and leave with a sense of accomplishment. You’ll be glad you did.

Oakmont Health Initiative. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:00, Berger, on Zoom (967 9942 2442 passcode 573596)

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