Citizens participate in chair yoga in the Costick Center gymnasium, a class recently added to the Adults 50 and Better Division programming.

Citizens participate in chair yoga in the Costick Center gymnasium, a class recently added to the Adults 50 and Better Division programming.

Photo provided by Angela Nazak, city of Farmington Hills


Farmington Hills classes offer fitness alternatives

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published January 21, 2020

 Citizens participate in a yoga class at the Costick Center.

Citizens participate in a yoga class at the Costick Center.

Photo provided by Angela Nazak, city of Farmington Hills

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FARMINGTON HILLS — The transition into a new year can mean a new set of fitness goals for some people. Sometimes that means stepping outside of the conventional gym or one’s own comfort zone.

Whether you’re making changes to your fitness plan or just getting settled into one for the first time, Farmington Hills offers classes to fit a variety of needs.

“If what you’re currently doing for exercise isn’t meeting your needs, that would be a reason to do something different,” said Marty Lillystone, an exercise physiologist with Beaumont Hospital. “Whatever you choose to do for exercise should be dependent on what your goals are.”

Whether you’re 5 years old or older than 50 — whether you’re looking for exercise with a bit of competition, something simpler to keep your body limber or an activity that can help you relax at the same time — there’s a class for that.

“For people who are more into the mind-body connection, we have yoga and tai chi. For those who may want a little bit of a competitive edge, we have pickleball — a cross between tennis, pingpong and badminton,” said Angela Nazak, a senior adult supervisor for the city’s Adults 50 and Better Division. “Then we have swimming for people who maybe used to be swimmers or have had a knee or hip replacement and need to be gentle on their joints — the swimming pool is a good option.”

Dance classes — from flamenco to ballroom to line dance — are also offered, as well as the Fit 5000 class, where participants use low-impact dance and fitness steps to reach 5,000 steps, and the Feldenkrais class, where participants use gentle movements to improve coordination, balance, mobility, breathing and posture.

New to the Adults 50 and Better programming this year are the Essentrics: Aging Backward and chair yoga classes.

The Essentrics class combines aspects of stretching and flexibility with strength conditioning to tone muscles. It’s similar to a barre class, with elements of tai chi to evoke relaxation, Nazak said. She said the class was added because mind-and-body-based classes are “on trend” right now.

Chair yoga was added recently due to a greater demand from those in the community who have trouble, because of surgeries or other issues, getting onto the floor.

“I guess the need of the community dictated the addition. We’re always open to suggestions from our residents,” Nazak said.

The city offers a number of fitness programs for younger adults and children, as well.

There are diverse classes to get your heart beating: Z Box Fitness, a combination of boxing, dancing and body toning; Pound, a drum-based cardio program; Zumba; Dance Fitness; a fitness sampler class; and more.

Classes for the little ones include martial arts and karate, a Tiny Tumblers class, cheerleading, soccer, and youth pickleball classes.

“If your goal with exercise is simply aerobic fitness and to reduce things like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and whatnot, then these community fitness classes would all be great exercise,” Lillystone said.

Overall, joining a community fitness program isn’t just beneficial to your physical health, but your social and emotional health, too.

“An advantage of a community fitness program for some people might be the social aspect of it,” Lillystone said.

Nazak said she can think of several friendships she’s seen form through the fitness programs offered in Farmington Hills.

To learn more, visit fhgov.com.

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