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Participants were beaming at their Strong People class this week, donning weights on their wrists or ankles and warming up for the first exercise of the day. These fitness enthusiasts are on a journey to be the healthiest version of themselves through a research-based program crafted specifically for midlife and older adults.

The Logan Health Faith Community Nurse Program and MSU Extension have teamed up to host the Strong People Strength Training Program in the Flathead Valley, hosting sessions on Mondays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Gathering Place at the Gateway Mall. This evidence-based, 8-week program provided by MSU Extension helps participants increase their joint flexibility, muscle strength, balance and overall well-being. Each class is specially designed to incorporate progressive resistance training, balance training and flexibility exercises to allow participants more mobility and ease during their daily life.Strong People program

Participants have had life-changing results. In 2021, MSU Extension reported that 100% of survey respondents from their classes felt stronger, and a majority of members reported life improvements in areas of stamina, balance, movement, stress, anxiety, sleep and chronic pain. In addition, 93% of respondents were inspired to engage in similar physical activity routines outside of class, indicating that the experiences of group fitness sparked lasting lifestyle changes.

According to MSU Extension, the program’s successes lie in the proven benefits of strength training: increased muscle mass and strength, improved bone density with reduced risks of osteoporosis and related fractures, reduced risks of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression and obesity, and perhaps best of all, improved self-confidence, sleep and vitality. These physical benefits are reliable at getting participants in the door, and time after time, the social connection is what inspires members to come early and stay late. Our members’ quotes say it all:

“My strength has improved. I love being with others. They’re very supportive and friendly.”

“I have better balance and strength. I met some nice people. I’ve enjoyed it very much and would highly recommend to anyone.”

“I’m learning the importance of strength, training and balance. Rick and Susan are great teachers.”

For all these reasons and more, the Strong People class is achieving exactly what its name suggests, creating communities of older adults who are confident, excited and empowered in their health.

To learn more about Strong People classes in the Flathead Valley, please email susanmoore@logan.org for more information.