Client Spotlight: Fitness in Your 70s

Judy Foster discovered Dancers Shape last spring and took her very first Graceful class with NFL players Brian Orakpo and Frank Okam. “I was startled to see very large and well-muscled men standing at the barre. Being in my eighth decade and standing five feet tall, I considered heading for the exit but instead hung around. Despite all that brawn, some of the moves seemed a bit hard for them,” she says.

After that first memorable class, Foster realized she needed a class that moved at a slower pace and featured more modifications. “I liked the teachers and classes but found the sessions very difficult. Being a bit competitive, I sometimes overdid it and ended up with new aches and pains,” she says. Dancers Shape owner Jennifer McCamish created the Restorative class for clients like Foster who are approaching an age bracket where they want to exercise but find it challenging due to common aging issues such as osteoporosis, arthritis and hip and knee replacements.


Restorative class has been beneficial for Foster, who suffers pain in her lower back, right leg and knee. “I recently completed 10 weeks of work with a physical therapist, and much of what we do in Restorative carries through from what I did in physical therapy,” she says. “I feel that Restorative is helping me to manage these problems. Also, my balance is poor, and I appreciate the balance work we do in the classes.” Her mother had “Dowager’s Hump” (kyphosis in the upper spine where the shoulders round excessively forward – very common in aging women). She has the beginning signs of it but Restorative class at Dancers Shape has helped open her posture – standing taller and improving her balance.

Foster says Restorative can be as gentle or as difficult as people want to make it. “All the exercises can be done with the amount of resistance and intensity the individual can handle. I was concerned that the class might be too easy, but I have not found that to be true at all. The pace of the class is brisk but not overwhelming, and the props we use are helpful and add variety,” she says.

Foster encourages others in her age group to try Restorative. “I think there is a huge need for classes geared for people who aren’t yet ready for chair exercises but have lost some youthful agility and strength and want to improve mobility, balance and fitness. I am a big fan,” she says.

Not able to view the video below? Click here to watch Dancers Shape featured on Livestrong.com, discussing lateral stability exercises.

Lateral+Stability+Exercises — powered by LIVESTRONG.COM


About the Author

Crystal Zuzek is an Austin-based writer with more than a decade of experience in the journalism industry. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in the magazine sequence. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, going to movies and concerts, and spending time with her husband, Patrick, and her dachshund mix, Saffron.