Thursday, June 17, 2010

Queens Couple Benefits from Free CityParks Seniors Fitness Classes

The Forum

Queens residents, Richard, age 87, and Erma Hill, age 86, hit the tennis courts at least twice a week to practice their serves, work on their volley skills and socialize with friends at CityParks Seniors Fitness free tennis classes at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

For the couple, who met while attending George Washington High School in Manhattan, City Parks Foundation’s exercise program provides an outlet for them to stay activein their golden years. The two, who have been playing tennis since they were 18, have been participating in CityParks Seniors Fitness program since it began in 2006 and credit the classes to keeping them going everyday.

“There is no excuse for seniors not being able to get active with the free program City Parks Foundation offers,” said Ms. Hill. “Over 35 years ago I was diagnosed with leukemia and given six months to live. Now I’m on the tennis court multiple times a week, thanks to our tennis classes. The more you stay active, the more you can do.”

Mr. and Mrs. Hill are just two of the seniors who are currently participating in CityParks Seniors Fitness. The spring program offers free tennis, yoga and fitness walking instruction to adults over 60 in 11 parks across the five boroughs.

In Queens, classes are offered at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Astoria Park, Cunningham Park and Roy Wilkins Park. Each fitness class, including free use of equipment, is offered twice a week for one hour and encourages participants to maintain regular attendance to maximize the health benefits.

CityParks Seniors Fitness, which has served over 3,400 participants since it began in 2006, provides older adults the opportunity to learn a new activity and make new friends, while aiming to promote neighborhood parks as a great place for community activity.

The program also encourages seniors to stay active, as exercise, even in moderate amounts, can help participants feel and look better, maintain or lose weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes,
and minimize the symptoms of arthritis.

CityParks Seniors Fitness Spring Program runs through June 25th. For more information, please call the Sports Department at 718-760-6999.

Founded in 1989, City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. CPF works in over 750 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports, and education programs, and empowering citizens to support their parks on a local level.

CPF’s programs and community building initiatives reach more than 600,000 people each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.

For more details, please visit

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